EVERYBODY LOSES is a performance of a death by snake bite. In this one man show Doppelgangster’s Dr Tom Payne informs his audience that phone signals have been blocked, the doors locked, he’s shooting up venom, and nobody is leaving until he knows what it is to die.
Drawing on the true, self-documented death of world famous herpetologist Dr Karl Patterson Schmidt, historical accounts of the religious ritual of Snake Handling, Doppelgangster’s own personally documented accounts of self-poisoning, and reptilian myths of genesis and the coming apocalypse, EVERYBODY LOSES interrogates societal obsessions with eternal youth, eternal life, and the destruction of our planet.
Presentation and performance styles evoke and appropriate 1950s scientific lectures, death diaries, suicide notes, Southern-style snake handling, and the warnings of that one scientist at the start of every disaster film ever. EVERYBODY LOSES is both a glorious spectacle and a grave work; obliquely engaging with themes of climate change and the 6th great extinction; asking, with the unprecedented scientific documentation of the changing planet, and our failure to respond to the symptoms, is it too late to stop the poison?
Doppelgangster (UK/AUS) are an international performance company creating iconoclastic, politically charged, entertainment. Critiquing contemporary issues at local, national and global levels, and responding to urgent concerns such as climate change, migration and the effects of corporatism. Doppelgangster’s work traverses unconventional spaces, using intimate face-to-face encounters, large scale spectacle, and online environments.
EVERYBODY LOSES: The Death Diary of Karl Patterson Schmidt is the fourth full-length performance work by Doppelgangster, and was first trialled as a 10 minute performance at Hot!Hot!Hot! Festival of Climate Arts in Melbourne in 2016.The work is currently in a major development period in Melbourne between MKA: Theatre of New Writing and Footscray Community Arts Centre, and Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Wales).