An opus in the most total sense of the word, Life and Times is an epic tale of an ordinary life – an existence rendered in a wondrous riot of theatre, song and dance.
Each of the four ‘episodes’ of Life and Times stands alone, a discrete marvel of theatrical ingenuity and invention to be enjoyed in isolation. Viewed together, they form an ambitious, spellbinding journey through a life-so-far.
Where Episode 1 starts with birth and continues to age 8, in performance that fuses communist musical and “mass games” rhythmic gymnastic spectacle, Episode 2 picks up the tale from age 8 to 14: the adolescent years, this time turning upon the concept of chorus and chorus line: both fitting in and sticking out of the social group. Episodes 3 and 4 encompass the high school years (age 14-18) of young adulthood and its consequent desire for freedom and independence from the seeming prison of home and family life. Experimentation, rebellion, and drug use collide with religion and metaphysics - we encounter both first love and first cigarettes.
Showing during the Festival both as individual episodes and in its entirety as one marathon ten-hour performance (complete with BBQ dinner and snacks), this is performance on a scale rarely attempted, and even more rarely achieved: a transcendent, pulverising, poignant and hilarious hymn to the mystery, the pain and the impossible richness of being alive.
Pavol Liska & Kelly Copper give a free talk as part of the Artists in Conversation series on Thursday 24 October at 1pm at the Foxtel Festival Hub.
They will also be recording their OK Radio podcasts while in Melbourne – check back for details.
Warning smoke effects, strobe effects
What the media are saying
Caught in a shotgun-blast of reminiscences (The Australian)
“The most ambitious theatrical undertaking of my generation… an almost unbearable stream of pure, epiphanic bliss. ☆☆☆☆☆” – Time Out New York (USA)
“A masterpiece… poetic and ridiculous and obvious and logical all at once.” – The New Yorker (USA)
Directors Pavol Liska & Kelly Copper
Composers Robert Johanson (episode 1), Robert Johanson & Julie LaMendola (episode 2), Robert Johanson & Daniel Gower (episodes 3 & 4)
Design Peter Nigrini
Dramaturg Florian Malzacher
Production Manager Dany Naierman
Sound Engineer Daniel Gower
Performers Ilan Bachrach, Asli Bulbul, Elisabeth Conner, Gabel Eiben, Daniel Gower, Anne Gridley, Robert Johanson, Matthew Korahais, Julia LaMendola, Kristin Worrall
Image Anna Stocher/Burgtheater Wien
Life and Times: Episodes 1–4 are a production of Nature Theater of Oklahoma and Burgtheater Wien.
Episode 1 was created in co-production with Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg, Kaaitheater Brussel, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Internationale Keuze Festival Rotterdamse Schouwburg and the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.
Episode 2 was created in co-production with Kampnagel Hamburg, le Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Kaaitheater Brussel and Rosas. Episodes 3 & 4 were created in coproduction with Internationales Sommerfestival Hamburg, Kaaitheater Brussel, Internationale Keuze Festival Rotterdamse Schouwburg and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main GmbH. Funding support for Episode 1 provided by the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Funding support for Episode 2 provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Pilot, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Presenting Partner Debbie Dadon and Naomi Milgrom AO