Desire is a form of possession, commanding the body from within. Do we resist its embrace, or allow it to compel us wherever it must? Drawing on film tropes of the monster queer, this electronic opera for one is a magical summoning – a longing for communion with the invisible, where the performer’s body moves, and is moved by sound.
Possession celebrates the high drama and craft of opera via a solo performer inhabited by forces beyond human control. Aural feedback manifests physically and disembodied sounds hum, howl and screech. An unseen force slowly takes charge of the body. As this soundscape of haunted vibrations expands, a grotesque dance of hunger and transformation unfolds.
Possession is a compelling glimpse of the unimaginable; macabre and triumphant at once. It brings together the diverse talents of multi-disciplinary artists Marcus Whale, Matt Adey for House of Vnholy, Justin Shoulder and Megan Hanson to conjure a theatrical vision of erotic desire with the power to change both body and mind. Give in to its urge.
Possession was developed with the support of Next Wave through Kickstart, and was supported by the Robert Salzer Foundation, Liquid Architecture and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Marcus Whale lives and works on Gadigal land. His work across music, performance and writing focuses on the blurry intersection between desire and religion, often with reference to the poetics of memory and ghostliness. These works often stage encounters between camp performance styles and the heightened drama of traditional mythology, scripture and liturgy.
Recent performance works, including Praise! (with Eugene Choi), the Lucifer series (with Athena Thebus & Chloe Corkran), In the Mood – A Love Letter to Hong Kong and Wong Kar-wai (with Rainbow Chan and Eugene Choi) and Possession have been presented by Sydney Opera House, Asia Topa, Next Wave, Performance Space, Sydney Contemporary, Sugar Mountain Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Underbelly Arts Festival and Art Month Sydney. He has performed in and composed for works by Agatha Gothe-Snape, Harriet Gillies, Ivan Cheng, Martin Del Amo and Jess Olivieri. His poetry has been published in book form by subbed in and Ruin Press.
As a musical artist under his own name and with groups Collarbones and BV, his recorded output primarily forms an electronic world around his singing. The Hunger, a solo album about vampires, was released in 2021, dramatised into a theatre performance at The Flying Nun and nominated for an Australian Music Prize. Ensemble Offspring, The Song Company, Zubin Kanga, Claire Edwardes, Synergy Percussion and others have performed and recorded his compositions. As a performer or composer he has contributed to performance works by Ivan Cheng, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Martin Del Amo, Paul Mac, Harriet Gillies and Xanthe Dobbie.
His poetry has been published in two editions, Devotionals (Ruin Press) in 2015 and wheeze (subbed in) in 2019.
Brunswick Mechanics is a wheelchair accessible venue.
Wheelchair and Pram Accessible
Assistance Animals welcome
Possession is a live sound-based work with corresponding dance performance throughout. The work is split into three acts and includes a a combination of dialogue, lyrical, and non-lyrical sound.
We also welcome suggestions for how we can continue to improve our experience for people with disability. Please contact Next Wave if you have specific access enquiries via email@example.com
Please be advised that the second act includes twenty minutes of loud, sudden, and harsh sounds.
Ear plugs will be available on-site – Just ask at the bar.
This event also includes hazing but no strobes.
Getting to Brunswick Mechanics
We’re gathering at Next Wave’s home at Brunswick Mechanics, located at 270 Sydney Road in Brunswick. You can read about public transport and getting to our venue here.