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EDGING

APHIDS

World Premiere
Presented by Arts House

Wed 27 November – Sun 1 December 2024
Wed – Sat, 7pm
Sun, 5pm

60 minutes

Auslan Performance
Thu 28 November

Post-show artist talk
Thu 28 November

Tickets
Standard $35
Reduced $20
BLAKTIX $10

Warnings
Suitable for ages 18+

EDGING contains mentions of border security procedures and coarse language, nudity, loud music, very loud effects, sudden loud noises, flashing lights, abrupt lighting changes, low lights, lighting black out, and lights that change colour and intensity.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Assistance Animal
Aural Rating 50%
Auslan Interpreting
Companion Card
Quiet Space Available
Visual Rating 50%
Wheelchair Accessible

Exploring the intersections of popular culture, border control and queerness, EDGING is a new collaboration between APHIDS’ Lara Thoms and artists Sammaneh Pourshafighi and Eden Falk. 

Are Virgos really bossy? What’s the best Bette Midler movie? How do you get into the Berghain? 

A queer performer shares opinions and asks questions about movie stars, reality TV, gossip, fashion and sex. 

Though these cultural references might seem fun and flippant, as they unfold it becomes apparent that there is a common thread: they all connect to real Australian border control practices.  

EDGING interrogates how queerness, popular culture and border control intersect. This powerful pat down uncovers the practices that border protection officials have tried to keep in the closet.  

Turning power dynamics on their head in playful and unforgettable ways, EDGING highlights the absurd and inane ways that institutions execute control. 

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‘Exceptionally good…an often hilarious, intimate show.’ — Alison Croggon, The Saturday Paper on The Director 

‘★★★★ Equally funny and devastating.’ The Guardian UK on OH DEER! 

‘The absurdity of life and death is presented here with poignancy and humour in a delicate balance. The result is a playful, resonant and life affirming.’ – THEATRE TRAVELS on OH DEER! 

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About the artists

APHIDS
APHIDS is an artist-led experimental art organisation based in Naarm/Melbourne. Collaborative, risk-taking and future focused, APHIDS is led by Lara Thoms and Mish Grigor. APHIDS makes experimental work across artforms and contexts: in public space, festivals, digital platforms, across visual and performing arts, major institutions and beyond. They have been presented in every state and territory in Australia, from the Malthouse Theatre to the Art Gallery of SA. They have engaged audiences in nursing homes in Finland, community halls in regional towns, drive-ins and even beamed art into outer space.

Sammaneh Pourshafighi
Sammaneh Pourshafighi is a Queer genderfluid Muslim who arrived in Australia as a refugee after the Iranian Revolution. Their work plays with identity, ritual, the Body, diaspora, Middle Eastern and Western histories, and comedy as a way to address trauma. They have worked with Midsumma, George Paton gallery, CCP and the National Portrait gallery amongst others.

Lara Thoms
Lara Thoms is a Naarm based, queer artist interested in socially engaged, site-specific and participatory possibilities in contemporary art and performance. Much of Lara’s work is collaborative with people beyond the arts including past works with an ex funeral director (The Director), queer and bereaved communities (OH DEER!) and young people incarcerated in Nauru (We All Know What’s Happening). She is the co-artistic and executive director of APHIDS, who have recently been presented at Fusebox Festival (USA), Sydney Opera House, Transform Festival (UK), ACMI and RISING. Lara is also the co-founder of ARTSPAY, a payments processing solution to arts funding.

Eden Falk
Eden Falk is an actor, director and writer in theatre and film based in NSW. He was part of the Actors Company, the full-time ensemble of the Sydney Theatre Company and has played in over twenty theatrical productions. He has also appeared in the films Sleeping Beauty, The Great Gatsby,The Daughter and most recently in ABC’s Riot. He continues to write and direct for screen.

Marco Cher-Gibard
Marco Cher-Gibard is a composer and artist using sound to explore contemporary culture, experience and expression. His work to date includes numerous compositions and sound designs for performance contexts and an ongoing interest in electronic improvisation and socially engaged practice. His award-winning work for theatre and dance has been presented internationally by LIFT Festival (UK), Vienna Festwochen (Austria), Holland Festival (Holland), Theatre der Welt (Germany) and Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), amongst others.

Samara Hersch
Samara Hersch is an award-winning artist and theatre director working between Europe, Australia and Asia. Her practice investigates the encounter between contemporary performance and community engagement. Her work with Lara Thoms, We All Know What’s Happeningwon the prestigious ZKB Jury Prize and Audience Prize at Theater Spektakle, Switzerland and is currently published by Currency press.

Negar Rezvani
Negar Rezvani is a young Iranian poet and refugee. In 2013, she sought asylum in Australia and lived in an offshore processing prison in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for over six years. She lived in Australia on a community detention visa for a further two years before being resettled in the USA. Her poem ‘My dear prison officer’ was featured by Red Room Poetry, and has also appeared in the Auawirleben international theatre festival in Bern, Switzerland, and in KBS cultural magazine in Germany. She also performed in Samara Hersch and Lara Thoms’ Please Stand in Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Mish Grigor (she/her)
Mish Grigor is the co-artistic director of APHIDS. Their work is situated in the performing arts as a maker, writer and performer. Using autobiographical tools, humour, and fiction, she is intent on problematising the frames of power from which art and identity emerge. Mish’s latest projects include Class Act (Substation, Opera House) First Bad Man with Pan Pan (Under The Radar, RISING) and a new publication for APHIDS.
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Artist statement

Australia’s border control practices have been a line of inquiry for me over the last decade. As the saying goes, truth is often stranger than fiction, and the details within these histories speak for themselves- often being at once brutal and absurd. Approaching these from a queer perspective and utilising the natural humour of collaborator Sammaneh Pourshafighi has allowed us to cross examine these injustices with a sense of play, creating unexpected offers and an aesthetic that may be more at home in a nightclub than the airport.
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Artistic credits

Created by: APHIDS
Lead artist and Director:Lara Thoms
Performers and Co-creators: Sammaneh Pourshafihgi and Eden Falk
Dramaturg:Samara Hersch
Consultant: Negar Rezvani
Sound Design:Marco Cher-Gibard
Lighting:Jen Hector

Details

World Premiere
Presented by Arts House

Wed 27 November – Sun 1 December 2024
Wed – Sat, 7pm
Sun, 5pm

60 minutes

Auslan Performance
Thu 28 November

Post-show artist talk
Thu 28 November

Tickets
Standard $35
Reduced $20
BLAKTIX $10

Warnings
Suitable for ages 18+

EDGING contains mentions of border security procedures and coarse language, nudity, loud music, very loud effects, sudden loud noises, flashing lights, abrupt lighting changes, low lights, lighting black out, and lights that change colour and intensity.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Assistance Animal
Aural Rating 50%
Auslan Interpreting
Companion Card
Quiet Space Available
Visual Rating 50%
Wheelchair Accessible

EDGING has been supported by Creative Australia and Creative Victoria

Image credit: Bryony Jackson

Image description: Sammaneh stands in front of a pale lemon-yellow background. Their hair is a halo of dark brown curls and they are covering one eye with a leather-gloved hand, staring at us with the other eye. They wear black eyeliner, shiny rouge lipstick, a blushed pink cheek, and a silver circular septum piercing. They wear a long black lycra top which has panels of blue lace along the top of the arms highlighting sleeves of black tattoos beneath.