Event The Drunken Boat
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Venue Sidetrack Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
First Date 1 April 1992
Opening Date 1 April 1992
Last Date 28 April 1992
Dates Estimated No
Status Professional
World Premiere No
Description The Drunken Boat was created to mark the 500 year anniversary of Columbus's voyage to the Americas. It took its title and a lot of its inspiration from Rimbaud's poem The Drunken Boat. The show enjoyed 3 highly successful seasons in 1991/92. Its main premise was that the theatre of today could be seen as an allegory of the aftermath of the waves of colonisation that followed in the wake of Columbus's voyage. The company at the time of its making described it as 'a pageant of the mutilated forms of other times and other cultures'.

The staging of the show was created for open spaced theatres. There was no seating with the audience and performers occupying the same stage space.

The performers emerge dazed from below decks and director Don Mamouney carries them to their places himself. (He will continue to direct them like a conductor for the whole show.) The performers try to jump ship but Mamouney brings them back and the voyage begins. When Columbus sailed west he didn't, as some expected, drop off the edge of the world, he stumbled on the Americas and unleashed what Rimbaud called "the triumphant hubbub of modernity." (John McCallum The Australian).

"Five hundred years ago Christopher Columbus sailed to the 'Indies' and opened a new chapter in the history of the world. In retrospect it was called Modernity. In The Drunken Boat we treat the contemporary stage as a cultural cargo ship. The boat we create is a vehicle with which we ask what is theatre today five hundred years after that fated voyage? Exhausted, commodified, satiated, a carnival of innovation hybridising and mutilating other cultures and traditions, trying to keep up with the times through constant renewal, recycling old lies as new truths. It draws on every available means to satisfy its appetite for change and innovation. And yet, it remains a poor thing, itself, having been emptied and appropriated by other media, by politics, by commerce and even the street."
Description Source Production Company
Primary Genre Theatre - Spoken Word
Secondary Genre Test Physical Theatre
Avant-garde
Installation
Subjects Colonisation
History
Intercultural
Multicultural
Organisations
Contributors
Name Function Notes
Guillaume Brugman Actor
Regina Heilmann Actor
Jai McHenry Actor
Rolando Ramos Actor
Meme Thorne Actor
Don Mamouney Designer
Guillaume Brugman Devisor
Don Mamouney Devisor
Don Mamouney Director
Bruce McKendry Lighting Designer
Peter Wells Music and Lyrics
Resources
Text Nationality Australia
Production Nationality Australia
Further Information This was the third and final season of The Drunken Boat.
Data Source
Source Description
Australian & New Zealand Theatre Record May, 1992
Sidetrack Archive Box 17
Event Identifier 15970