Love Burns and Trouble In Tahiti Love Burns

When I directed the first performance of Graeme Koehne's 'tabloid opera' for the 1992 Adelaide Festival it was great to hear the auditorium resounding to the kind of laughter you'd expect from a play: the sophisticated but attractive musical from idiom in no way distanced them from the immediacy of this this tawdry tale.

Louis Nowra's libretto is based on the same true story that spawned the bizarre cult film The Honeymoon Killers. It tells of the depths to which a desperate psychiatric nurse sinks in her efforts to preserve the love of her handsome but thoroughly bad ex-patient and culminates in a gruesome 'love-death' finaleas they face the electric chair.

byGraeme Koehne, Louis Nowra
directed byNeil Armfield


Trouble In Tahiti

A siniilar vein of black comedy runs through the companion piece in this double bill, Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti.

Ironically written on his honeymoon, this savage portrait of a collapsing marriage dates from a time when Bernstein was attenipting to renounce his gay playboy self and adapt (through gritted teeth) a straight family man image. With its camp tour de force arias, bitchily ironic jazz choruses and its beautiful main theme (a forerunner of Westside Story) this brilliantly compressed precurser of Sondheim is great fun.

byLeonard Bernstein
directed byLindy Hume
withChristine Douglas, Grant Smith
setsBrian Thompson
costumesJulie Lynch
lightsMark Shelton

Company B