Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

Contemporary texts

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Wilson , Jessica (Australia)

This work was produced by Terrapin Theatre under the direction of Jessica Wilson. Jessica Wilson is an Australian director and producer working with visual narratives in spectacle theatre, in-theatre for young audiences and participative projects. She has toured her works to USA and around Australia. She now lives and works in Melbourne.

Autors : Jessica Wilson and Julia Christie from a story by Noelle Janachewska.
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs is a rich journey into the wilderness of the imagination, seamlessly integrating puppetry with projected image, physical performance, original music and text.
The Dark began with an exploration of fear in Australian society. From here, the artists became fascinated with a number of thematic threads; the fear of their own internal worlds; their vulnerability within a wild landscape; and the figure of the lost child that has haunted the Australian imagination since colonisations. These explorations became the heart of the work.
The Dark takes us on a dense and filmic journey into one woman’s inner world, and her struggle to make sense of often contradictory memories and thoughts. Carla breaks down on the side of a road surrounded by bushland. As she makes her way through the scrub to her parents home, she is confronted by childhood memories. She tries to fill gaps and create a narrative for the unexplained disappearance of her sister long ago.
The work is realised with marionettes that are viewed through a scrim projection screen. A confrontation around a china cabinet; a life size naked gypsy with no legs; a present that reveals a insect; drowning in water; a father that is often away taking photographs in the bush; and a mother that has frayed at the seams. We experience Carla’s fragmented journey as she struggles with the human need to make sense of her inner life. The Dark brings marionettes into contemporary theatre.