Crocodiles by Vidya Rajan

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Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy & Elbow Room

24 May – 04 June 2023

assets uploads 181 1683681445725 1683681445725As a migrant, Sandhya is expected to work hard. As an aged-care resident, Helen is expected to be lonely. As a doctor, Priya is expected to take responsibility. And as a nation, we expect them to stay out of sight. Crocodiles is a playful and intelligent exploration of who gets to make mistakes, and who cleans up the mess.

Vidya Rajan’s new black comedy, Crocodiles, is coming to Darebin Arts Speakeasy at the Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre. The genre-fusion that distinguishes Rajan’s acclaimed scriptwriting is exemplified in this dark and comic play, which begins with a mysterious death in an aged-care facility and follows the consequences for those involved through increasingly surreal turns. The interlacing of sharp humour with deep sympathy not only brings a disturbing clarity to the exploitation and neglect endemic in Australia’s aged-care facilities today, but also brings critical visibility to people whom we, as a nation, expect to stay invisible.

Rajan is a writer and performer whose past projects include Looking for Alibrandi (Malthouse/Belvoir), Respawn (MICF, Darwin Festival), The Feed Comedy (SBS), and The Lizard Is Present (Melbourne Fringe). Her work probingly examines contemporary Australian society, and has often been described as inventive, surreal, dark and hilarious.
Produced by the award-winning theatre company Elbow Room, featuring Rachel Kamath and Shamita Siva, and directed by Marcel Dorney, Crocodiles is a hilarious and poignant journey through the realities of the Australian dream for migrants.

Vidya Rajan is a former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, graduate of the VCA, and a recipient of Screen Australia’s Developer Program. Rajan’s recent sketch writing as part of The Feed (SBS) won the 2022 AWQIE award for Best Comedy Writing, and her digital interactive experience In Search of Lost Scroll took Best Experimental Artwork at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Awards. Vidya Rajan can next be seen as part of the core ensemble on the new Aunty Donna sitcom series, Aunty Donna’s Coffee Cafe (2023, ABC).

In fifteen years of critically acclaimed practice, Melbourne artists Elbow Room have become one of the leading independent theatre companies in Australia, collaborating with over a hundred artists, as well with Melbourne Theatre Company, Summerhall UK (Scotland), Brisbane Powerhouse, La Boite Theatre, HotHouse Theatre (Albury-Wodonga), Carriageworks (Sydney), Theatre Works (Melbourne), Southbank Corporation (Brisbane), Metro Arts (Brisbane), Brisbane Festival, Regional Arts Victoria, Junction Arts Festival (Launceston), and the Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney Fringe Festivals. Elbow Room has received 7 awards and 16 nominations from Melbourne Fringe, the Green Room Awards and the Matilda Awards.

A graduate of ‘Stella Adler Academy of Acting’ in Los Angeles, Rachel Kamath’s credits include the feature The Taverna (SBS) and the Apple TV+ series Shantaram.

Shamita Siva is a multi-faceted performance artist and theatre maker who specialises in movement and devised work. Experienced in both stage and screen mediums, Shamita holds a BA Performing Arts from Monash University, supplemented by training with Film & Television Studios International, Stella Adler AoA Los Angeles, AAFTA, and Meisner Technique.

Darebin Arts Speakeasy aims to support developing works and artists, encouraging them to thrive and discover new elements of their artform or performance that were yet to be realised.

Over the past decade Darebin Arts Speakeasy has supported over 1,500 artists to create over 150 original works presented to over 75,000 patrons, receiving 40 creative industry awards and a further 116 nominations. Darebin Arts has supported many of the ground-breaking artists and companies that make Melbourne’s art sector so iconic: RAWCUS, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, The Hayloft Project, Little Ones Theatre, Stephanie Lake Company, Elbow Room, MKA, Double Water Sign, and lead artists like Joel Bray, Michele Lee, Emilie Collyer, Anna Seymour, Stella Young and Sammy J.

Written by: Vidya Rajan

Performers: Rachel Kamath, Shamita Siva, Marta Kaczmarek, Tom Dent and Emily Tomlins

Director: Marcel Dorney

Composer: Saieesh Shanmugarajah

Movement Consultant: Devika Bilimoria

Production Designer: Rachel Nankin

Lighting Designer: Kris Chainey

Sound Engineering: Chris Wenn

Produced by Elbow Room

Image credit: Darren Gill.

Further information on Crocodiles is available at

Crocodiles by Vidya Rajan

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Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre

24 May – 04 June
Wed-Sat 7.30 pm, Sun 5 pm
Tickets available here.

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