Cain and Abel come to Belvoir via The Rabble

How different could our world be if the first act of violence was committed by a woman? What if Cain and Abel were sisters?

“Cain and Abel were the two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was the first human born and Abel, the first human to die. Cain slayed Abel out of jealousy over God’s favour. It is the story of the first act of violence – an act that ricocheted across millennia and divided civilisations. It is the genesis of a vision of history as man on man, brother on brother, blood on the earth, the human stain and the mark of Cain.”

Mary Helen Sassman will appear in Cain and Abel. Image by Gary Heery.
Mary Helen Sassman will appear in Cain and Abel. Image by Gary Heery.

Cain and Abel is a show about violence and reinventing history by Melbourne theatre-makers THE RABBLE. Their method is thus: take a big idea, lock themselves in a room, and make a piece of theatre about it. They take inspiration from literature, visual art, religion, and history.

This work promises to be distinctly feminist in its unpicking of gender and violence, but not a narrative retelling of the biblical story.

The artists that make up the THE RABBLE have been collaborators for over six years and the artistic directors, Kate Davis and Emma Valente, have spent this time creating a dynamic conversation about aesthetic, space, process and thematics. As their audience we eavesdrop on this compelling, confronting, epic and wildly original ongoing conversation.

With Cain and Abel, THE RABBLE continue their assault on the great stories of Western civilisation.

Cain and Abel will play at Belvoir from 15 May – 8 June 2014. Bookings and more information via 02 9699 3444 or

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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