ELEGY is the Australian premiere of an innovative piece from the UK exploring the unimaginable homophobia still occurring in “post-liberation” Iraq, and the horrific realities imposed on any minority group faced with no choice but to flee.

The play at first appears to be an intimate account of one man’s impossible love for his best friend but, gradually, our young man pieces together a deeper story: of love and flight, of empty train stations and bomb-blasted towns, of a world where local militia “disappear” his friends one by one.

It slowly builds to the shocking revelation that these stories are, in fact, true.

Based on verbatim interviews with refugee survivors of brutal regimes and inspired by images from photojournalist Bradley Secker, ELEGY is a lyrical, searing exploration of loss, displacement and a longing for home.

Starring Nick Simpson-Deeks (Winners & Losers) and directed by John Kachoyan (Bell Shakespeare), it is a lament for lives in exile and more importantly for the dead that they have left behind.

At a time when elected leaders maintain their commitment to "turning back the boats", and show resistance to marriage equality, this award-winning work lays bare the human cost of these vote-seeking headlines.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
D, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party

Trigger Warning: The piece contains possibly sensitive subject matter. As it is at times a first-hand account of civil war and cultural purges, it necessarily references some violence and death.

There is one performer and one operator in the touring party, and the performance has only basic stage and lighting requirements.

There is the potential for this piece to utilise un-developed, found or otherwise interesting spaces. Please chat to us about this if you have something in mind.

Elegy already has the support of Regional Arts Victoria as its future tour coordinator in southern states; they are currently confirming a mid-2018 tour.

Lab Kelpie is a theatre company dedicated to the production of new work by Australian playwrights.

Established as a not-for-profit incorporated association with a board of experienced and passionate industry professionals, we actively seek out works that engage audiences by interrogating with intelligence and vigour how relationships, power and politics function in the twenty first century.

As strong advocates of new writing, we support Australian playwrights by commissioning, developing, presenting and touring their work, encouraging our writers to take risks and inspire audiences with the themes and messages they want to explore.

“One of Australia’s most exciting independent theatre companies on the rise.” – Maxim Boon, The Music

Since we began in 2012 we have presented over 243 performances to 17,894 audiences in 87 venues across Australia and New Zealand.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

There is no other work in the current Australian arts market that weaves real life testimonies from LGBTI asylum seekers into such a powerful narrative.

At the same time ELEGY is an exploration of the themes linking us all, regardless of religion or politics - all in an intense sixty-minute powerhouse performance.

Audiences will be spellbound by the elegance and artistry with which Elegy handles such difficult subject matter and the immersive way it fuses precision performance, intimate fictional storytelling, music, movement and visual poetry to lure its audience into a theatrical, playful, and ultimately devastating world.

Marketing Materials

We will provide access to our bank of marketing collateral including images, artwork, promotional and interview/behind-the-scenes videos, publicity material, social media collateral etc. All material, including videos, can be branded for each individual venue.

We can provide complimentary digital access to the script, show video, a radio play version, and teachers’ notes developed with a VCAA consultant, (including up-to-date media references) if booked in advance and teamed with educational engagement activities.

Community Engagement

This project has great scope for audience engagement opportunities:

  • Post-show audience Q&A is highly recommended and we are happy to provide.
  • Education materials can be supplied (see above).
  • Potential for external provider input into the educational aspects of the piece. (Perhaps local refugee survivors could contribute to a post/pre-show discussion, and/or a local LGBTI support group could speak to their experience in the community?)
  • Show-related masterclasses in storytelling and drama, or issues-based workshops, can be organised.

We invite discussion with presenters on developing these, and further, options.

Elegy ultimately leaves a legacy of greater understanding and empathy for our fellow man. It provides an intimate, joyful, painful and recognisable look into the lives of others who - as intimated by the deliberate casting of a white Australian actor as the piece’s narrator - could well be any one of us, given the smallest twist in circumstances.

Teamed with other activities and/or provision of supporting material at the performance, Elegy will hopefully encourage people to become more engaged in world affairs - or, at the very least, lead to a heightened awareness of the minorities in their local community.