In the winter of 1942, Melbourne's shadowy streets were the scene of three brutal stranglings by the elusive Brown-Out Strangler. These killings took place as World War II wore on to its bloody climax and as Melbourne was invaded by its allies: an army of hard-drinking American soldiers living loudly and lewdly.

Portraits of Modern Evil imagines what might have happened if two men on whom the war left an indelible mark had crossed paths: Albert Tucker, one of Australia’s greatest modern painters, and Eddie Leonski, better known as Australia’s first serial killer. Filled with haunting images, this is a surreal and frightening tale.

"... a brilliantly dark look at society during war … Confronting, thought-provoking and full of talent – all that good theatre should be."—Anna Locke, Australian Stage

"… the writing is accomplished: poetic lines that encapsulate Tucker's vivid, colour-obsessed view of the world are interspersed with strong dialogue."—Victoria Laurie, The Australian

  • drama
  • 90
  • 7 total
  • 4 female identifying, 3 male identifying
  • history
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | 30s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 59

EXTRACT: He's coming, Emmy. You can see him, can't you. That's why you got your eyes shut and aren't never gonna open them again huh. Cause you can see.(PAUSE) I maybe wont be able to see though so when he comes you gotta promise me, okay Emmy, you gotta promise me you'll wake up and you'll tell me he's here. You gotta open your eyes and point at him so I can see him and protect you.

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