In Repertoire

International theatre festival of kerala


“I was shaken as I left the theatre. A masterfully human performance..” – Theatrepeople

On the back of successful tours to Sydney Opera House, Finland and the UK in 2019, The Director travelled to International Theatre Festival of Kerala, India, in January 2020.

The Director is a bold new performance starring charismatic ex-funeral director of 21 years, Scott Turnbull, and artist Lara Thoms. Taking up a universal experience and taboo topic, Turnbull and Thoms demystify, expose and expand elements of the death industry, using humour and first-hand knowledge to dig a little deeper on what happens after we go. Nothing is off limits, including the smell of a crematorium, the tools of the mortuary, and driving tractors into a funeral chapel. At a time when dying costs an average of $10,000 and funerals happen within a week, death can seem like a very expensive drive-thru meal.

Blurring the roles of funeral director and theatre director, Thoms and Turnbull ask each other to perform tasks, share knowledge and give feedback on each other’s actions. Balancing macabre reality, playfulness and the tragic elements of death, the result is a spiky, funny and invigorating performance.


Creators – Lara Thoms, with Scott Turnbull, Aaron Orzech and Lz Dunn
Performers – Lara Thoms, Scott Turnbull

Designer – Katie Sfetkidis
Sound – Kenneth Pennington

The Director is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.

International Theatre Festival of Kerala, Thrissur, India
26–27 January

Images Bryony Jackson, 2018 and Pekka Mäkinen, ANTI Festival 2019

APHIDS acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples on whose lands we live and work. Sovereignty was never ceded and we pay our respect to past, present, and future Aboriginal elders and community, and to their long and rich history of artmaking on this Country.