Fifteen years ago, Paulina Salas was held in detention and subjected to prolonged sessions of torture and abuse, blindfolded throughout the whole ordeal. Now the dictatorship that ruled her country has fallen and her husband, Gerardo, has been appointed to a commission established to investigate human rights violations committed by the old regime. But the commission will only investigate cases that ended in death, the identities of the accused will be suppressed, and details of what punishment they will face are…vague.
On the night of his appointment, Gerardo gets a flat tyre on the way home and is assisted by a friendly stranger. Paulina only has to hear this voice from the next room to be sure that the stranger is one of her torturers. The next morning, Gerardo awakens to find his guest bound and gagged in a chair and Paulina wielding a handgun. This, she tells her husband, is the first case in his inquiry.
Ariel Dorfman wrote Death and the Maiden (1990) in response to events in his home country of Chile. This award-winning play explores the effect of atrocity on the heart and soul, and asks how a society can function when victims of former oppression are asked to co-exist with its perpetrators.
Director Kristin Telfer on Death and the Maiden: “This exciting and challenging play both entertains like any good psychological thriller, and asks the audience to think about some difficult questions—questions that are still all too relevant and resonant. It feels like much too long since this play was last performed in Adelaide, and I am so grateful to Moore Books for giving me this opportunity.”
The play features Cheryl Douglas as Paulina Salas, Thorin Cupit as Gerardo Escobar and Nick Buckland as Roberto Miranda. .
For mature audiences
Performances: 27, 28, 29 October and 3, 4, 5 November at 8 p.m.
Venue: The Arch at Holden Street Theatres—34 Holden Street, Hindmarsh
Tickets: $26 full / $22 concession / $20 groups (6+) (booking fees may apply)
Bookings: http://www.holdenstreettheatres.com or call 8225 8888