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  • Fiona Prior

The Bleeding Tree

The Bleeding Tree

Playwright Angus Cerini

Director Lee Lewis

It is not common to see a theatre piece that is so blackly funny and gruesome it reminds you more of an old Australian tall-tale of the ilk of Sweeney Todd while it is, in fact, a play that is highly sophisticated and well written.

A brutal man from a small, rural community is killed by his wife and daughters in self-defence. He has been abusing the family for years and is known in the community for his violent behaviour.

One-by-one, neighbours and acquaintances come to the house to enquire about the dead man. They all quickly become complicit in the abused women’s crime. The fun begins (only joking) as the girls try to remove the dead weight corpse from the room. The first neighbour realises what has happened when he notices the corps wrapped in carpet. He kicks the corpse while continuing the girls' fabrication that the husband/father has not returned home. This good neighbour also gives some hypothetical, neighbourly advice should somebody wish to be rid of a large animal’s carcass. You get my drift. The remaining good neighbours are similarly helpful.

Grizzly and confronting, cast Paula Arundell, Shari Sebbens and Airlie Dodds are pitch perfect as mother and daughters. The BleedingTree is a piece of theatre that is only for those who enjoy a touch of the macabre.

Sydney Theatre Company

until 8 April

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