A one-night stand in an underground club in Moscow turns into more than just a casual hookup for an Australian tourist and a mysterious Russian stranger. 

Dirt, playing at Chapel off Chapel until June 5, is an award-winning erotically-charged queer thriller presented by Wil King (ABC/Netflix’s Why Are You Like This, Strangers in Between) and their real-life partner, award-winner Patrick Livesey (The Boy, George, Naomi) – the couple also stars in it.

“Wil and I had talked a lot about queer persecution across the Russian Federation and were aware that not many people in Australia knew what was happening,” says actor and producer Patrick Livesey in a statement.

The idea for the play came to the couple in 2020, when the couple commissioned Melbourne-based playwright Angus Cameron to write it to raise funds for LGBTQI organisations in Russia and Ukraine. The play was originally scheduled to premiere in Melbourne in 2021, but got delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Instead, the play took a detour to Adelaide, where it won four awards at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe Festival, and Perth winning two awards at the 2022 Fringe World. 

Melbourne Premiere And The Russian War

The Melbourne premiere comes at a time when the world is confronting the Russian war and oppression in Ukraine. The persecution of LGBTQI people in Russia, however, has a much longer history and hangs like a spectre as the night unravels for the two strangers in the play.

“Dirt is a thriller that really plays with the audience’s perception of what is real and what is not. We wanted the tone of the work to emulate the experience of being persecuted, of having to be on guard constantly. It’s hard to bring thrillers and live theatre together, but we feel we’ve achieved that here,” says Livesey. 

The producers have said that one dollar from every ticket sold will go to Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives and Insight Ukraine.


When: Until 5 June 2022

Where: Chapel Off Chapel – 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran


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