March 15, 2016

By Broadway World, 9 MAR 2016

Carriageworks presents the world premiere of Lake Disappointment over four nights from 20 until 23 April 2016. Collaborating as writers for the first time, Lachlan Philpott and Helpmann Award-winning actor Luke Mullins, investigate notions of celebrity and the challenges of being ordinary in an increasingly image-obsessed culture.

Performed by Luke Mullins, directed by Malthouse Theatre Director in Residence Janice Muller, with a stunning atmospheric sound design by James Brown, Lake Disappointment dives into the deep strangeness of life as a Hollywood body double.

Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks said, “Lake Disappointment is part of Carriageworks’ ongoing commitment to presenting new Australian work. The play explores a compelling topic and will raise questions around self, identity and the seemingly inherent rise of narcissism in our society.”

Lake Disappointment  co-writer, Lachlan Philpott, speaks to his inspiration for the play: “Our initial inspiration came from encounters with two body doubles; one being the double of well-known Australian actor. In a newspaper feature, the double claimed to be madly excited because he was going to finally achieve a life-long acting dream to go to the Oscars because the doubles’ actor had been nominated for an Academy Award. But the question we had was: who does he go as?”

“In researching Lake Disappointment, we have spent an enormous amount of time investigating doubling, doubles, twins and narcissism. We have drawn inspiration from Dorian Gray, Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare. This play delves beneath the surface of our image obsessed world and highlights issues around contemporary identity,” said Philpott

“One body double we examined for this play was the body double of the late Australian actor, Heath Ledger. Several years back, he had the option of being Ledger’s body double but decided against it. I then started my own questions about his choice and always wondered what would have happened if he had taken the job. I mean is it just a job? Do doubles surrender their own ambitions and identity? When you consider the business of being somebody’s double, so many fascinating questions arise and this is what Lake Disappointment is about,” added Philpott.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing this piece to Sydney audiences’. Every time I re-read the play I laugh out loud! The team is very exciting and Lachlan and Luke have come up with a truly imaginative new piece,” added Director Janice Muller.

In Lake Disappointment, Kane and I were both rising stars. I was rising to the top of the hand-modelling world and Kane was doing his plays. Kane got his first action film and I became his double. We clicked. Everyone said so. It’s there on screen.

Kane is now one of the world’s hottest movie stars. His body double has been there from the start sharing more than just looks with his famous counterpart. But just how intertwined are their lives? In Lake Disappointment, the body double (played by Luke Mullins) is devoted to his star counter Kane. Their last film Briefcase Bomb was such a hit that they are moving out of art-house film into more mainstream blockbusters. Before they head to Paris to shoot the biggest budget action film of all time, they are to work on Lake Disappointment – an obscure small budget film with a shoot in a remote mountain town. The double is sent to the set of Lake Disappointment early to save Kane time. On arriving the double notices that there is something peculiar about this town with its silvery lake.

The film’s content and ambition also confuse the body double. Kane’s character spends a huge amount of time searching for a lake but can never actually find it. On set the body double makes friends with Kane’s strange co-starLinda Hunt. Linda plays the guest house owner in the film but also seems to be doing that job in real life. Linda asks the double questions which provoke him to start looking at this world and himself in a very different way. Kane’s arrival keeps being postponed. The shoot becomes increasingly difficult for the double. Worryingly, whenever he finds himself near water…. he starts having thoughts.


Luke Mullins is an actor and performance maker who has worked extensively throughout Australia. He works frequently with Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Melbourne Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre. He has created work with a number of independent companies including Stuck Pigs Squealing, Sisters Grimm, Uncle Semolina and Friends, Liminal, Uninvited Guests, Wrecked all Prods and Arts Radar. Luke was a member of Sydney Theatre Company‘s Actors Company 07-09. He created and performed the solo work Autobiography of Red (Malthouse Theatre), and was a creator/performer of Irony is not Enough: Essay on my Life as Catherine Deneuve (Fragment31/Arts House). Awards include the George Fairfax Memorial Award for excellence in Theatre Practice, a Green Room Award for The Season at Sarsaparilla and a Sydney Theatre Award and Helpmann Award for Waiting for Godot.

Lachlan Philpott‘s work has premiered at Crowded Fire San Francisco, Sydney Theatre Company, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and Melbourne International Arts Festival. Lachlan’s plays include Bison, Bustown, Catapult, Colder [R.E Ross Trust Award], M.ROCK, Silent Disco [Winner Griffin Award, GAP Competition Aurora Theatre Co. USA, Best stage play, Australian Writers Guild Awards] The Chosen, Truck Stop [Winner best play, young audiences Australian Writer’s Guild Awards] and The Trouble with Harry. He has had nine plays published. As the inaugural Australian Professional Playwright Fulbright Scholar, Lachlan travelled to The USA in late 2014/15 to work with The American Conservatory Theatre and Kansas State University. Lachlan was Chair of the Australian Writer’s Guild Playwrights’ Committee between 2012 and 2015.

Janice Muller is currently Director in Residence at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. Recent credits include The Tribe, co-adapted with writer Mohammed Ahmed for Belvoir/Urban Theatre Projects. This work premiered at the 2015 Sydney Festival. Other projects include A Woman in Berlin, co-adapted with Meredith Penman; (Tamarama Rock Surfers /Malthouse); concept and artistic direction of Quay to the City (Australian Theatre for Young People); curation of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (Malthouse); dramaturg and script editor Mantle (My Darling Patricia/Campbelltown Arts) and The Piper (My Darling Patricia/Sydney Festival and Edinburgh Fringe 2015). Janice was the first recipient of the Goethe Institute and Playwriting Australia’s Dramaturgy Exchange Scholarship in 2006. She was awarded the VCA’s Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Scholarship in 2003 and was invited to the Royal Court’s International Residency in 2001.

James Brown is a Sydney based composer and sound designer. He has worked collaboratively with companies both locally and internationally to produce soundtracks for performance, film, animation and games. He has a Visual Arts degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and a Master’s Degree in Acoustic Physics from Sydney University. His featured works include: Jane Campion’s Top of The Lake (2013); Matthew Day’s Intermission (2012), Cannibal (2011) and Thousands (2010); Victoria Hunt’s Copper Promises (2012); SOIT (Belgium) Messiah Run (2011), Café Prukel (2010), We Was Them (2009); SPG’s HOMELANDS (2011), NO-MADS (2008), Settlement (2007); The Australian Ballet’s Scope (2011); POST Who’s the Best? (2011); Karen Therese’s The Riot Act (2009); The Football Diaries (2009); Phantom Limbs’ The Memory Progressive (2010); Rosie Dennis Worlds Apart (2011); Nalina Wait’s Dual (2008), The Empty Centre (2011), Choreomania (2011); Aisthesis (2009), The Lotus Eaters (2008); The Whale Chorus (2008), A Loving Captive (2008), and Old Feed (2007). James has a Masters of Audio Design and Digital Media, Sydney University (2006-2007), a Bachelor of Media Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University (2002-2005).