Oedipus Schmoedipus | post

Death: it belongs to everyone!

Fed up with white men staging the deaths of white men in plays written by white men, the white ladies of post have pirated the classics to confront the great unknown.

About Oedipus Schmoedipus

Oedipus Schmoedipus is about death: real death, fake death, and the Western theatrical canon. It’s joyful and dark, stupid and smart, hilarious and confronting.

Oedipus Schmoedipus takes dozens of the great theatre classics, picks out the death scenes, mixes them together and hands them back to the people. For this mammoth undertaking of gore, laments, requiems and post are joined by a new cast of 25 locals each performance.

The show is a great big festival of shuffling-off-the-mortal-coil from Australia’s silliest/smartest theatre bunch: post.

Straddling live art, theatre and contemporary performance practices, post take being silly very seriously, and have a real commitment to innovation. Their deep irreverence for the institution of theatre and deep reverence for the magic moment of the liveness it houses has amused, bemused and probably annoyed audiences for the past ten years.

Oedipus Schmoedipus has had audiences in stitches and in tears, from its Sydney Festival premiere at Belvoir Street Theatre, to its a bilingual Spanish/English production in Santiago Chile. Most recently a Cantonese production with Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and West Kowloon was co-produced with Intimate Spectacle, and co-commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, Asia TOPA.

Cunningly and cleverly carried off, Oedipus Schmoedipus is a democratic theatrical extravaganza 2,500 years in the making. Stay tuned to hear how you can be a part of it!

Community Engagement

25 local volunteer performers each show

Each performance of Oedipus Schmoedipus is done with a new cast of 25 locally recruited volunteers. This is a great opportunity for post to engage with local people in each community we tour to, and for presenters to offer an a chance for audiences and communities to engage with their program, with theatre-making, and with touring artists.


“Brilliant… shockingly funny to watch.”

– John McCallum, The Australian

“Marvellous medley pokes fun at the classics. ★★★★ Their satirical lecture on the canon can be riotously silly, but it lands stinging blows on theatre’s classism.”

– Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age

“The makeshift chorus is gorgeous in its authenticity… Watching the volunteers find their footing with a youthful joy is endlessly fascinating, amusing and relatable. … equally joyful, dark and moving… It is a touching performance that speaks to what is perhaps the one universal truth: we are all going to die but in the words of Bernard Shaw, “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”

– Tennessee Mynott-Rudland, AussieTheatre.com

What’s so great about Oedipus Schmoedipus is that Coombs Marr and Grigor unpack famous death quotes without a hint of pretension… whilst still managing to wittily comment on notions of gender, sexuality and religion. Oedipus Schmoedipus successfully straddles the line between traditional dramatic notions of death and sly postmodern commentary… Who knew death could be so funny?

Reuben Liversidge, ArtsHub

“Provoking, endlessly glib, yet curiously joyous, I’d put money on this being the most divisive show of the year.”

– Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald

Production Notes

Duration: 60 minutes.

Touring team: 5.

Suits medium sized studio (preferred) or proscenium (possible) theatre, with minimum 8m x 8m stage.

Requires the presenter to source 25 volunteer performers for each performance (a new cast each show).

Diversity of age, gender and cultural background is essential for the performance to work well.

Volunteers required for a 3-4 hour rehearsal call, after the show has been fully teched, and preferably the day of their performance.

Production History

Belvoir / Sydney Festival 2014
Arts House, Melbourne 2015
Australian Performing Arts Market, 2016
Centro Gabriela Mistral, Santiago Chile, 2017

National Tour March-April 2018: MANPAC Mandurah, Canberra Theatre Centre, Casula Powerhouse, Portland Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre Mt Gambier, Lighthouse Theatre Warrnambool, Theatre Launcesto,n Theatre Royal, Hobart

Cantonese adaptation co-produced with Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and West Kowloon, Hong Kong, October 2018

Additional Video

Photography Credits

Photography by Rob MacColl (Brisbane) & Jorge Sanchez (Santiago)