Chosei: Frozen Shape

Chosei: Frozen Shape

written by the Frozen Shape Collective (Nick McCorriston, David Finnigan, David Shaw)
produced by Opiate Productions , C-Block Theatre, Canberra, November 2002

It is 1953. In the ruins of an old prison camp deep in the Siberian snows is hidden Soviet Union’s most secret Laboratory. A Kabbalic scientist is able to predict the future of world politics by reading the patterns that appear in the board-game of Go. The players are grown from the captured sperm of Russia’s greatest enemy – sperm stolen from the wives of Adolf Hitler!

Download Chosei: Frozen Shape as a Word doc.

Our process for this script was to bring four different short stories, and over a four week production period, try to combine them together into one piece. The difficulties of cramming the characters of one story into the plot of a completely different tale forced us to make connections and develop ideas in ways that we weren’t expecting. Our source stories were:

Brian W. Aldiss – Swastika!
Greg Egan – Axiomatic
Anton Chekhov – Death of a Clerk
Jeff Noon – Homo Kareoke
Ted Chiang – 72 Letters
Tibor Fischer – A Portrait of the Artist as a Flaming Deathmonger

Muttley played Alexei Stagger, dedicated OGPU officer, who was transformed by the wicked powers of Dr John Genius into a shambling obedient zombie.

Kim Gorter as Lucky and Jack Lloyd as Hitler in Chosei: Eternal Life (photo from the Canberra Times)


Canberra Times, November 2nd, 2002, by Alanna Maclean

It’s not quite clear where Opiate Productions is headed at the moment, but the company’s current offerings do have a kind of earnest lunatic charm.

Chosei: Eternal Life is in some kind of post-Poe territory. There’s lots of cheerful horror, with a mad 1950’s B-movie Russian scientist making duplicates of Adolf Hitler and his lover (and niece) Geli Raubel so that they can predict the future by playing Go.

This piece achieves a certain success because it properly takes itself seriously. Although I’m not sure where it goes in the end, it is interesting getting there via bathtubs and injections and the cold Russian winter snow outside.