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The Snow White Conspiracy (Knowledge and the Girl)

Barker, H. and Tampalini, S. (2008) The Snow White Conspiracy (Knowledge and the Girl). [Play] [Creative Output]


In this austere treatment of the fairy tale by Howard Barker, the cruel Queen is now the central character, flaunting her depraved sexuality. The play moves back in time to create an entirely different legend.

Princess Snow White (Lee Quek) is taking a walk in the forest, when she spies her stepmother, the Queen (Karen Corby), as she displays her nakedness to the local forester (Katrina Johnston). The impotent King (Scott Suffling) knows about these goings-on, and even forms a cult for the Queen’s amorous followers. Snow White, who has always been considered to be one of the purest of all children’s book characters, is now determined to outdo her stepmother’s debauchery by making advances to the same forester and then sleeping with seven men in the forest.

At first, the King seemed to get satisfaction from his wife’s adultery, but eventually the cuckolded husband regards each misdemeanour as a personal attack and so decides to get rid of his Queen, a woman that he has abused for years.

In the final scene, when the wicked stepmother appears at the marriage of Snow White to her Irish Prince (Geoff Kenny), she is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and ordered to dance until she drops dead, however she is determined to suffer in silence and does not dance a step. A counterpoint to the blissful ending of Snow White.

Publication Type: Creative Output
Written byBarker, H.
DirectorTampalini, Serge
DirectorTerpsis, N.
DesignerTampalini, Serge
DesignerErmichina, A.
DesignerLoke, T.
DesignerNg, V.
DesignerDavidson, J.
Company Credits: Nexus Theatre
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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