Thomas Middleton, William Rowley
First Slovenian production
10 October 2009
A young noble lady meets a handsome young nobleman in church. The initial spark between the two quickly grows into an obsession. This could be the beginning of an ordinary love story—except that the young lady is already engaged, due to be married in just a few days. Blinded by passion and determined not to consent to marrying the husband her father chose, she turns for help to her servant. Though she dislikes him, she knows he would do anything for her. She asks him to help her rid herself of her fiancé…
A parallel story runs throughout the play: the aged owner of a lunatic asylum observes and categorizes fools and madmen, referring them to different wards. Unable to satisfy his young wife and afraid that somebody else might, he puts her in the ward as well. She is supposed to be safe there, but young men begin to flock to the asylum—handsome fools and statuesque madmen, even talented young poets… Sharing a common motif of lust, the two stories intertwine tragically. The play begins as an entertaining story about love and intrigue, but ends as a bloody tragedy; it depicts a doubled human nature, one which both loves passionately and destroys ruthlessly.
As was common practice at the time, the play was written in 1622 by two authors: Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, both of whom were successful and widely-performed playwrights. Today, The Changeling remains one of the most famous Jacobean tragedies and is among the most intriguing Renaissance works written after Shakespeare. Because of its sexual topic and openness to numerous interpretations, the play has been adapted many times for film and theatre, especially since the 1960s. For the most part, these adaptations share a belief that contemporary psychoanalysis—with its insight into inconceivable depths of human unconsciousness—is uniquely able to uncover all the dimensions of this funny, cruel Renaissance work.
Written in alternating verse and prose, The Changeling is the first translation of a classical work to be completed by Andrej E. Skubic. Skubic is known for his skill with contemporary language, particularly for the use of slang in his novels.
The Changeling is directed by Australian director Lindy Davies. Davies has worked extensively in both theatre and film, as script and performance consultant, director and actress. She’s worked with theatres in Sidney and Melbourne, as well as in Great Britain (various theatres in London and Chichester), New York (La Mama) and Moscow (Maliy Theatre). She started her career in the 1970s as part of the Australian Performing Group and contributed to the “renaissance” of Australian theatre, which focused on experimental work of great European directors-reformers. In 1980s she performed in plays both classical and contemporary: her roles included Martha in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Arkadina and Anna Petrovna in Chekhov’s plays, Gertrude and Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s works. She has received several awards and nominations, including an Australian Film Institute Award for her role in the film Malcolm. In 1980s she also began directing, and has worked on plays by Shakespeare, Middleton, Ibsen, Pinter, Barker, Friel and Shepard. She also started teaching at that time. Between 1995 and 2007 she was Head of the School of Drama at the University of Melbourne. As an actor trainer and performance adviser she has collaborated with numerous film directors and actors in Great Britain and the USA.
Spatial (360°) presentation – sketches from the rehearsal
The Changeling – sketches from the rehearsal