Inspired by the tango, 'The Butcher's Dance' takes us from nineteenth-century Buenos Aires, where the dance was invented by immigrants amidst the brothels of the city, to 1929 and the eve of the Wall Street crash in New York, back to Buenos Aires in 1976, where a family is persecuted during the 'Dirty War', and finally to New York 9/11 and the attack on the Twin Towers.

The stories of the characters are interlinked over the epochs, as is the evolution of the tango, in a tapestry that examines the links between people and cultures in their common humanity. The play juxtaposes real historical characters and events with fictional characters in a dynamic and exciting way.

Written with the assistance of an Edith Cowan University research grant, and the contribution of WAAPA acting students.

'The confronting nature of much of "The Butcher's Dance" is not for those whose idea of a good night at the theatre is a couple of hours of lightweight, escapist mummery. Society needs works such as Edmund's, theatre that compels us to question what those in power are doing in our names.'
Neville Cohn, OZarts review, 2005

  • heightened drama
  • 90
  • 16 total
  • 10 female identifying, 6 male identifying
  • adolescence
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Starts on page 53

EXTRACT: There is no reason why America should ever fall. How could it possibly occur? A few Muslims whining in a desert? Think again cave boys. The Soviet Union fell through the corruption of it's bureaucracy and the limits of it's vision, a vision based on a myth that one person isn't more capable than another. What a ludicrous concept. Level everyone out until they're grey! Aren't there always going to be winners and losers? Read Darwin. The extraordinary Individual will always exist

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