The vehicle becomes a bubble, the dashboard a console, and the landscape all around unfolds as a television screen” 

Jean Baudrillard, The Ecstasy of Communication

Passenger is a theatre work which places its audience inside a moving suburban bus. A conversation is heard between two fellow passengers and—as we gaze at the passing world outside—we are seduced into an altered understanding of the environment around us.

Exploring our relationship to screen media and how it influences our interpretation of the world, Passenger frames a city as a filmic landscape, the frontier of a market-driven economy. Referencing western films where the cowboy seeks to ‘right’ a ‘wrong’ that the law does rectify, a woman is out seeking retribution and the audience are thrust into a kind of live-action cinematic experience that artfully blurs the line between reality and fiction, leading you to regard the external world with ecstatic suspicion.

“…Magnificently surreal and gloriously cinematic…. a tightly written and brilliantly executed piece that turns the London landscape into a thriller movie, framing the city so that we see it with the eye of a cinematographer.” Dorothy Max Prior, Total Theatre UK

“Passenger transports you into a parallel reality that transforms the normalcy of a home city into a thronging surreal cinema-scape that is part Truman show, part Western Noir.” Raphael Solarsh, ARTS HUB

…A final sequence so spectacular it seems almost unreal that you are witnessing it live.” Nikki Spunde, Australian Stage

Written by NICOLA GUNN
Sound Composition and Design TOM FITZGERALD
Lead Performers JIM RUSSEL and BETH BUCHANAN (Melbourne) / VICTORIA MOSELEY (London)

This project was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body as well as by the City of Melbourne. Passenger received commissioning support from the Arts Centre Melbourne.