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Anthems and Angels

The Compassion Plays

The Compassion Plays is a major theatre event. Its theme is the condition of exile and the experience of refugees. Its structure is based on the medieval ‘passion play’, which invites its audience to travel through different ‘story stations’ and interact with and help shape the performance.

Each show begins outdoors at dusk, with food, gifting, songs and dance. The journey continues into the theatre space, where Sydney artist Sam James creates an exquisite, immersive video installation amidst a combination of set and interactive performance pieces. Local musicians, performers and visual and sound artists combine with members of our wider communities to create a place of welcome, shared feasting, and cultural exchange.

The Compassion Plays is supported by Companion House (for refugee survivors of torture and trauma), Monash University, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, and community volunteers.  It is Part I of the Anthems and Angels trilogy, set to roll out nationally and internationally from 2016-18.

Read more about the Anthems and Angels Trilogy here.


November 2,3&4, 7.30pm.

Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, ACT 2612.
Book online at www.agac.com.au

Click here to contribute to our fundraiser!

The Compassion Plays is event #2 in the inaugural Ralph Indie residency programme initiated by Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres in 2016.


1. The Compassion Plays

November 2,3&4, 7.30pm.
Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, ACT 2612.
Book online at www.agac.com.au

2. The Compassion Plays–fundraiser

Please help us launch Part I of the Anthems and Angels Trilogy via our Pozible fundraiser.

Donate here!

Synergy Percussion 40th Anniversary Concert

April 9 seatedinterp 3AD--tjcPreparations for this epic double, Carriageworks, April 22 & 23.



A presentation on the life of Jane Avril by Zsuzsi Soboslay [accompanied by Chrissie Shaw].

Jane Avril, one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s favourite dancers and models, suffered from a movement disorder known as St Vitus’ Dance [Sydenham's Chorea], most possibly triggered by the beatings she suffered as a child. She claimed dancing ‘healed’ her, and on her discharge from Paris’s Saltpetriere asylum at the age of 16, she worked numerous day jobs whilst performing in cabarets at night. Dubbed ‘ethereal’, ‘magnetic’ and ‘like dynamite’, she became an astute business woman, star attraction and revered performer. Her story is one of triumph against the odds and the value of individual difference.

Performed at the National Gallery of Australia, during their Enlighten Festival, March 2013; repeat performance/presentation during DANscienCE Week at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, August 10, 2013, including a discussion of life in an asylum in C19th Paris, the stigma of disability, mapping disease via science and art, and cures for chorea and related disorders. INcludes songs by Aristide Bruant, sung by Zsuzsi with Chrissie Shaw, who also accompanies on piano accordion.

Images courtesy National Gallery of Australia

DANscienCE Week (August, 2013) was curated by Liz Lea, AD Liz Lea Dance (UK) and Canberra Dance Theatre, and Cris Kennedy (CSIRO).