La MaMa ETC presents MADAME NIGHT SHADE'S POISON GARDENIn this dark, visceral comedy vegetables are transformed into semi-automatic weapons, Snow White becomes a spring-onion wielding Samurai, and Mars Bars represent the 'shit' of the world.

Created and performed by Anna Thomson and directed by Sarah Ward, Madame Nightshade's Poison Garden is back at La Mama after its sold out Explorations season in 2016. In the dystopic world of Madame Nightshade's Poison Garden, Beatrice (a devilish shape-shifter) lurks in the shadow of her alter ego Madame Nightshade (a princess-like assassin). A failed fantasy of refined beauty and good taste, Madame Nightshade performs a series of absurd rituals in her gothic fairytale garden, while Beatrice upends her compost bin to expose the rotting truth. Queer performance art meets contemporary clown, playing with gender and class-based assumptions, and unearthing the ridiculous in our own backyard.

The anarchic antics in the Poison Garden, a metaphor for our ailing planet, fracture the 'perfect façade' of contemporary culture. Unlike the clean, sanitized and distanced interaction we are accustomed to in the 21st century, the visceral potency of live interaction is a shot in the arm of docile flesh. In this humorous hell-bent descent no one is a passive observer; everyone is implicated in their own demise.

Anna Thomson is a physical and visual performance maker with training in contemporary clown, bouffon and physical theatre. She makes up one-seventh of PO PO MO CO (Post Post Modern Comedy); Melbourne's rambunctious queer comedy troupe. Anna is particularly talented in the manipulation of vegetables into forms of artillery and in eating extraordinary amounts of Twisties, in the name of ART. Madame Nightshade's Poison Garden is her debut solo show.

Image: Theresa Harrisonn

Anna says: "I delight in creating physical comedy that uses grotesque, absurd and larger than life characters to confront societal norms and gender politics. In crafting a highly visceral and visual experience, I want the audience to feel something, to oscillate between joy and revulsion, delight and disgust, laughter and discomfort."

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