: : T H E R A B B L E : : | Orlando
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A hallucinatory reworking of Virginia Woolf ’s classic gender-bending parable.

The tale remains the same: the immortal Orlando is a young man, a hedonist and rake, a poet and lover, who awakens one day transformed into a young woman. Inspired by Chopin, astrophysics and the Great Frost of 1709, THE RABBLE have stripped Woolf ’s Orlando down to a stark cosmological painting.

This Orlando drifts through space instead of time, through galaxies instead of centuries, to explore the dark passages of gender, sexuality and fragmented identity. She is opposed by Queen Elizabeth, a shadowy figure who is every lover, husband and wife Orlando has ever had: manly, virginal, mysterious and powerful.

A strange and provocative visual feast, Orlando is THE RABBLE in their element: subversive, restlessly inventive and grotesquely sublime.

WARNING: adult themes, full frontal nudity, sexual references, coarse language, smoking onstage, smoke machine, strobe effects, haze, sound pressure effects (loud noises).


Created by Emma Valente & Kate Davis
Directed by
Emma Valente
Set & Costume Design Kate Davis
Costume Construction Sophie Allen with Jill Allen and Michelle Leonard-Fox
Lighting, Sound Design & Composition Emma Valente

Stage manager Jenn Taylor
Photography by Guy Little and Sarah Walker


Dana Miltins, Mary Helen Sassman & Syd Brisbane (2012, 2014) and Angus Cerini (2015)


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12–27 October 2012 | as part of Helium, Malthouse Theatre for Melbourne Festival

16–20 September, 2014 | The Loft, QUT for Brisbane Festival

12—14 June 2015 | Theatre Royal for Dark MOFO


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THE AGE – Cameron Woodhead (2012)

THEATRE NOTES  – Alison Croggon (2012)

REAL TIME – John Bailey (2012)

AUSSIE THEATRE – Anne-Marie Peard (2012)

THE GUARDIAN – Madhvi Pankhania (2015)

AUSSIE THEATRE – Anne-Marie Peard (2015)


Orlando was originally presented as part of Malthouse Theatre’s Helium season in association with Melbourne Festival. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.