War and Peace / puts you in the hands of one of the world’s most notorious theatre collectives, Berlin’s Gob Squad, as they take on one of literature’s most famously unread novels. But this book club might come with a body count.

These theatre renegades make live video performances that unsettle the lines between the prepared and the improvised, performer and bystander, fiction and life. Here they set their sights on Tolstoy’s gargantuan opus War and Peace, only to discover that neither war nor peace are coming without a fight.

A never-ending parade of characters dance, dine and duel while performers prepare for scenes as if going into battle, all in order to reframe Tolstoy’s central inquiry: can we live a moral life in an imperfect world? Are our peaceful lives themselves a kind of warfare?

One man’s feast is another man’s famine, and this / is a feast of contradictions.

"GOB SQUAD SKIP FEARLESSLY ALONG THE THIN LINE BETWEEN FICTION AND REALITY, FILM AND LIVE ACTION LIKE RECKLESS TIGHTROPE WALKERS"
— The Guardian

PRODUCTION PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

Presented by Malthouse Theatre and Melbourne Festival.

War and Peace is a production by Gob Squad and Münchner Kammerspiele. In coproduction with Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Berlin, Schauspiel Leipzig, Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival Lublin, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University, Malthouse Theatre and Melbourne Festival, Gessnerallee Zürich, Nottingham Playhouse and Teatro Stabile di Torino – National Theatre.

Key Image: Andrew Gough
Images: David Baltzer

Partners

CONCEPT / 

Gob Squad

PERFORMED & DEVISED BY / 

Johanna Freiburg, Sean Patten, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost & Simon Will

SOUND DESIGN / 

Jeff McGrory

VIDEO DESIGN / 

Miles Chalcraft

SET DESIGN /

Romy Kießling

COSTUME DESIGN / 

Ingken Benesch

DRAMATURGY & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT / 

Christina Runge

TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT / 

Chris Umney

ARTISTIC ASSISTANT / 

Mat Hand

GOB SQUAD MANAGEMENT / 

Eva Hartmann

Event & ticketing details

Accessibility

Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

PREVIEW 6.30pm, Tue 18 Oct
OPENING NIGHT 7.30pm, Wed 19 Oct
TIME TO TALK 6.30pm, Tue 25 Oct

Location

Merlyn Theatre

The Malthouse, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006

Get directions

Train

Any train to Flinders Street, then a 12-minute stroll through Melbourne’s sparkling Arts Precinct.

Tram

The No. 1 South Melbourne tram goes right past our door. Get off at Stop 18. Any tram down St Kilda Road—jump off at Grant Street, Stop 17 and take a 3-minute walk.

Event notes

DURATION / 

1 hour, 45 minutes (no interval)