Calpurnia Descending (2014) is an epic live theatre and cinematic, cross-genre, cross-dressed romp through the camp icons of the silver screen. With the ultimate brief for an audiovisual design on stage – make a live movie – Calpurnia Descending was an incredible collaboration with Sisters Grimm.
Charting the rise and fall (and rise and fall again!) of Beverely Dumont (Paul Capsis) and Violet St Claire (Ash Flanders) literally through the lens of cinematic history, this project involved devising a 4 camera online switching, and offline playback system, with multiple green screens and real time effects.
The simplicity of the resulting screen image – and the hilarity of the content – belie the complexity of the production. With over 450 cues and some 250 spike marks, the cast and crew execute a complex choreography of camera and set movements, whilst delivering an acerbic and sharply witty script.
Calpurnia Descending was a co-production with Sydney Theatre Company and the Malthouse Theatre and won a Green Room Award for Best Video Design in 2015.