Man against machine in a musical comedy from the golden age of pop


Joe Jackson Steppin' Out
Antony Pitts Mind Over Matter
Wang Chung Dance Hall Days


A zany and toonful chamber opera about two lifts and a computer virus in a bed of 1980s pop gold served up by five singers, two speakers, and four hands at one piano.


Susannah Lawergren – Anna
Anna Fraser – Mabel
Maximilian Riebl – Professor Karl Rime
Robert Macfarlane – Doctor Phil T. Reezon
Andrew O'Connor – The Guard
Sally Whitwell – Piano/Lift A
Antony Pitts – Piano/Lift B
Leonie Cambage – Director

A cartoonesque prequel to Anna’s Rapid Eye Movement (premiered by The Song Company in Sydney Opera House), Mind Over Matter is a chamber comic opera for 5 singers, speaking piano duet and computer operator, by the Company’s Artistic Director, Antony Pitts, with theatrical direction by Leonie Cambage. The story is set (not far) in the future: the world has been taken over by a giant computer corporation called BABEL, run by a man known simply as “the Boss”, and, as usual, someone is trying to hack into its central server. BABEL’s corporate headquarters has 127 floors and just two lifts (with personalities of their own). There is a Guard who rarely ventures off the ground floor, two suspicious-sounding characters called Rime and Reezon, two identical briefcases, an executive called Mabel all-too-open to the algorithmic power of Artificial Intelligence, and Anna herself – dizzy at the apex of an impossible love triangle. What else could possibly go wrong? The music is inspired by the melodic pop of the 1980s and the program begins and ends with arrangements of some classic hits from Joe Jackson’s Steppin' Out to Wang Chung’s Dance Hall Days.



Tue 20 Aug 7.30pm | Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre
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Wed 21 Aug 7.30pm | Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre
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Fri 23 Aug 7.30pm | The Street Theatre, Canberra
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Sat 24 Aug 3pm | Wollongong Art Gallery
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Thu 29 Aug 7.30pm | Hobart Town Hall
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Fri 30 Aug 7.30pm | Melbourne Lawler Theatre Company
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Sat 31 Aug 7.30pm | Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide
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Tue 3 Sept 7.30pm | Brisbane
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Thu 5 Sept 7pm | Newcastle Conservatorium
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Sat 7 Sept 3pm | The Independent Theatre, North Sydney
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