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Malthouse Theatre to adapt Christos Tsiolkas's novel 'Loaded' into an audio play

Tsiolkas's debut novel was originally to be presented on stage as part of Malthouse's 2020 season

Nic Dowse

We were pretty excited to hear that Malthouse would be turning Christos Tsiolkas's 1995 debut novel Loaded into a stage production this year. Due to certain global events, that production can no longer happen but the creative arts aren't called the creative arts for nothing, people. Malthouse Theatre has announced that in lieu of stages being off limits right now, Loaded will be presented as an immersive, four-part audio experience available from October 19. 

For those of you who've forgotten the tale (or haven't read it yet) Loaded tells the story of Ari; a Greek, gay 19-year-old living in Melbourne and searching for meaning in sex, dance clubs and drugs – all within a 24-hour period. The novel is set in the '90s, though audiences can expect the audio experience to be refreshed with a 21st-century perspective. 

In addition to the audio experience, Malthouse is also partnering with the Wheeler Centre for a panel discussion called Reloading Loaded. Tsiolkas, along with Loaded playwright Dan Giovannoni and director Stephen Nicolazzo will head the panel to discuss just how they went about adapting the work, as well as Melbourne scenes and enduring relatability of Ari's character. 

Malthouse co-CEO and artistic director Matthew Lutton said: "It’s devastating not being able to experience Loaded live at the Malthouse, but we’re fortunate that Loaded is a story that lends itself brilliantly to a sonic experience."

If you already held tickets for the stage adaptation of Loadedyou'll get first dibs on tickets for the audio experience from October 19. General sales start on October 30 and are $25 for the four-episode experience (total run time is 104 minutes). Reloading Loaded can be watched via the Wheeler Centre from November 10. 

Sounds of the city: check out this compilation of noises that create an authentic Melbourne soundscape.

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