Belvoir and State Theatre Company South Australia will present the Australian premiere of the worldwide musical/operetta hit Mr Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn. In this wildy funny play cartoon characters, pop-music, high art and a nuclear meltdown collide in a post-apocalyptic world where The Simpsons becomes the new global religion.
A catastrophe has brought the civilised world to an end. Survivors huddle around a fire, pondering the world without electricity, and the things they will never see again. To console themselves, they piece together an episode of The Simpsons, clinging to one of the few memories they all share.
Fast forward seven years and we’re in a post-apocalyptic society. A troupe of players wander the land, providing connection with a mythic past – by playing out the classic Simpsons episodes: Springfield has become a Golden Age.
Fast forward a generation. A feudal world of sorts has sprung from the ruins, and at its core is an intense religion of musical theatre, featuring a pantheon of strangely recognisable four fingered, yellow gods.
Director Imara Savage, making her Belvoir debut, says: ‘Mr Burns is a post-apocalyptic musical/operetta. It’s a homage to the enduring power of art, stories and theatre in times of crisis. The Simpsons are elevated from cartoon to mythical – almost godlike proportions, over the course of a hundred years of aural tradition. It’s like The Walking Dead meets the The Popular Mechanicals, meets a Robert Wilson opera, to a soundtrack of Britney Spears, Eminem and Gilbert and Sullivan – that embraces stylistically everything from TV naturalism through to music video montage, mystery and morality plays of the medieval era and the Greek chorus.’
A cast of music theatre idols including Helpmann-winning Mitchell Butel (The Government Inspector), Esther Hannaford (Little Shop of Horrors, Luckiest Productions) and Brent Hill (Little Shop of Horrors, Luckiest Productions) bring this astonishing production to Adelaide, then Upstairs at Belvoir. Brace yourself for this post-apocalyptic, Simpsons musical extravaganza you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for.
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