All the Queen's Men
Images by Kelly Fliender.

The Lady and The Tiger

West Space Gallery, Melbourne (Kulin Nations)

Would you rather eat your mother or your father? Would you rather sit on a pineapple or a turnip? Would you rather be water or cheese? Would you rather The Lady or the Tiger? A durational performance on the horns of a dilemma.


The Lady and The Tiger is a durational performance of unscripted madness. Inspired by the fable, The Lady and The Tiger thrusts two performers on the horns of a dilemma as they provoke each other with hypothetical conundrums that must be answered honestly and openly.

Over the course of five hours, they will wrestle taboos, face unimaginable scenarios, and confront the deep and personal, all with a wink of the eye. The Lady and The Tiger is both entertaining and confronting; ridiculous nonsense that pushes moral dilemmas to an absurd new high.

The Fable

The semi-barbaric king of an ancient land used an unusual form of punishment for offenders in his kingdom. The offender would be placed in an arena where his only way out would be to go through one of two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful woman chosen by the king and behind the other was a fierce tiger. The offender was then asked to pick one of the doors without knowing what was behind it. If he picked the door with the woman behind it, then he was declared innocent but was also required to marry the woman. If he picked the door with the tiger behind it, though, then he was deemed guilty and the tiger would rip him to pieces. 

One day the king found that his daughter, the princess, had taken a lover far beneath her station. The king could not allow this and so he threw the offender in prison and set a date for his trial in the arena. On the day of his trial the suitor looked to the princess for some indication of which door to pick. The princess did in fact, know which door concealed the woman and which one the tiger, but was faced with a conundrum—if she indicated the door with the tiger, then the man she loved would be killed on the spot; however, if she indicated the door with the lady, her lover would be forced to marry another woman, a woman that the princess hated and believed had flirted with her lover. Finally she did indicate a door, which the suitor then opened. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door – the lady, or the tiger? 

Creative Team

Creators and Performers Tristan Meecham and Olivia Ilic.

Dramaturge: Willoh S Wieland, Lara Thoms, Martyn Coutts

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