The Confidence Man
Roadwork Tour – Performing Lines
20 Sept – 19 Nov 2015
The Street Theatre, Canberra (ACT)
Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga (NSW)
Chaffey Theatre, Renmark (SA)
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mt Gambier (SA)
Portland Civic Hall, Glenelg (VIC)
Capital Theatre, Bendigo (VIC)
Merrigong Theatre Company, Wollongong (NSW)
The Arts Centre, Gold Coast (QLD)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane (QLD)
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah (WA)
Brave New Works Festival, Denmark (WA)
Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury (WA)
The Walkabout Hotel, Port Headland (WA)
Perth Theatre Company
Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA
30 Apr – 10 May 2015
Harvest – Australian Performing Arts Centre Conference
Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart
2 & 3 July 2014
North Melbourne Town Hall
Wed 28 August – Sun 1 September 2013
Run Time – 45 min plus 15 min audience briefing
Peter’s family is poised on the precipice of a deeply disturbing chain of events when a large sports bag full of cash is brought into his very ordinary home. You are invited to step onto the floor and into this gripping thriller to experience firsthand the family betrayal, moral philandering and menace that is about to blanket this suburban dream.
The characters are played by members of the audience equipped with masks and headsets guiding them as they play out the story. Those less adventurous can survey the action from the perimeter, eavesdropping on the characters most private thoughts and conversations.
This suburban life is an intricate ruse for something much more sinister.
In Side Pony Production’s first foray into interactive digital performance, audiences are invited to experience firsthand a gripping thriller complete with family betrayal, moral philandering and a dose of good old fashioned psychotic menace.
Six audience members participate in the performance; each playing one of the six characters. Equipped with a headset and a mask representing their character, each participant enters the world of Peter’s ordinary suburban home, poised on the precipice of a deeply disturbing chain of events. Staged in a town hall or black box theatre space, the floor is marked with the floor plans of a house and dressed with a few key pieces of furniture. Through a combination of sound track, narration and pre-recorded dialogue the participants navigate the space and the story, experiencing events in the first person. Each participant hears an individualised audio track, specific to their character, which instructs their movement, informs their gestures and physicality and gives them a personalised perspective of the story.
From the perimeter of the space the remaining audience members watch the story unfold (capacities can vary between 30-50 dependent on venue). Listening to the story through headphones the audience use a personal console to toggle between the audio of the different characters; building their own unique experience as they choose the path of action they want to follow.
The Confidence Man is Dogville meets Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, a morally complex tale driven by the well-known mechanics of the thriller genre. Familiarity with the narrative allows flexibility within the form as the story draws upon the audiences’ inherent understanding of the thriller – playing out a story imbued with the joy that comes from existing in a world where there are goodies and baddies. This menacing story is told with the gripping intimacy of a tale whispered in your ear.
Director: Zoe Pepper
Writer: Zoe Pepper and Adriane Daff
Composer: Ash Gibson Greig
Mask Design: Rebecca Baumann
Audio Arrangement & Sound Design: Sam Price
Lighting Design: Lucy Birkinshaw
Sound Technician/Operator: Marco Cher Gibard
Sound Equipment Consultant: Hayley Forward
Props: Nathan Nisbet
Guns: John Pepper
Closing the wormhole: Pierce Davison
Igor Sas (Peter)
Brendan Ewing (Alex)
Andrew Hale (Sam)
Talei Howell Price (Susan)
Kate Neylon (Maria)
Adriane Daff (Anita)
Mikala Westall (Claire)
Will O’Mahony (ConstableRoss)
Sean Walsh (Terry)
Kim Bidstrup (Boss)
Brent Hill (Tom)
Film, radio, theatre and technology morph into an experience that is absorbing and ingenious in its conceit…Side Pony Productions are the vanguards of a new theatre of the future.
Peter Wilkins, The Age
… a piece of dynamic theatre to blow your mind away. With every performance unique, this is the most fun that I have had since my honeymoon night!
Gordon the Optom, Independent Theatre Assc.
The Confidence Man is incredible. It’s ambitious, visionary theatre unlike anything I’ve seen before, and I recommend you see it tonight to give you enough time to see it a second time before it closes.
Sophie Raynor, Great about Perth
You can’t miss this show! I highly recommend you participate even though you may be nervous in the beginning. As soon as you get started, it’s a thrill ride. Do it!
Julia Hearn, The Australian Stage
The end of the show sparks an immediate desire to see it again, to follow the characters and stories missed the first time around. In a measure of the triumph of technical excellence working with quality material, The Confidence Man is intriguing, but reflects the real world, where the audience never can be omnipresent. 4 Stars
Nerida Dickson, ArtsHub
truly innovative and unique, generating spirited discussion and profound interest… definitely one of the most bold and intrepid pieces to emerge from Perth in recent years
Brendan McCall, Contemporary Theatre Review (UK), Vol 25.1
…hands-down winner for most engaging and original piece of theatre for 2013
Tania Herbert Theatre Press
Thought provoking and fascinating ****
Anthony Steadman, Artshub
Seamless sound design makes for total immersion
Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age
A truly unique and enriching experience for all. Highly recommended
Aiden Johnson, Pop Culture-y
Actors and audience are all in this together… an intriguing experience
Lucy Graham, Weekend Notes
both wickedly fun and surprisingly coherent.
John Bailey, RealTime
During the premiere season of The Confidence Man at ArtsHouse, Side Ponys creative team Zoe Pepper (Writer/Director) and Adriane Daff (Writer) spoke with the VCA’s Alison Campbell and members of the audience about the creative and technical aspects of creating the show.
Images Ponch Hawkes & Skye Sobejko
This project has been supported by the Governent of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts; the Western Australian Theatre Development Initiative, which is funded by the Australian Government through the AUstralia Council for the Arts, is arts funding and advisory body; the Blue Room Theatre; and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.