TWS Barker Catastrophe  Past


The Wrestling School and Brink Productions for the Telstra Adelaide Festival 2000

In March 2000, the Adelaide Festival premiered Howard Barker's millennium play, The Ecstatic Bible, in a unique international collaboration between The Wrestling School and the young, energetic Adelaide based Brink Company, who have presented several acclaimed productions of Barker's work in Australia.

Howard Barker's The Ecstatic Bible is a testament for the millennium, a series of interlocking narratives suffused by the European political and social experience of the twentieth century. An epic work of sweeping landscapes, passionate characters, provocative imagery and powerful poetic language filled with great swoops of rich dark humour. This intriguing collection of parables without morality carries within it the profound tunes and echoes of past pain and comic contradiction. While the scale of this bible is vast and the landscape strange, the dilemmas facing its characters are all too familiar.

This unique trans-world collaboration brought together the youth and vigour of Brink with the text skills and experience of The Wrestling School. A production lasting seven and half hours (including intervals) was created from the fifteen hours of source text in workshops in both London and Adelaide, with a company of over 30 performers drawn from both companies directed by Tim Maddox of Brink and Howard Barker.

An abridged version of The Ecstatic Bible has recently been published in the UK by
Oberon Books

521 Caledonian Road London N7 9RH UK  Tel: +44 20 7607 3637
ISBN 1-84002-413-5

Photos by Lisa Tomasetti