The Top Secret Violin Case

by Vardos

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I've seen them in Paris, I've seen them in Greece, I've seen them in Brisbane and Lisbon and Nice, I've seen them at Bondi all covered in oil, But I could not find a gay man on Romanian soil.
Brad decides to give 'Lionel' a tip in the restaurant, which leads to disaster. Note that Tony now has to bring his ferrets Stanley and Stanislavski with him wherever he goes.
Green leaf, apple leaf Ceauşescu is a criminal, he has eaten our souls. He set our country on fire, he took the food and heating away and finally the light. Does not the world care about us? We are removed and disappear...


Romania, 1970 something, in the grip of Ceaușescu's oppressive regime.
The Secret Police are gaining a toehold in the domestic sphere, examining every action of civilians and interrogating them to test their loyalties to the communist cause. Brad from Chicago arrives on the scene, hoping to escape his American closet to roam free in Romania, or so he thinks. When he decides to learn Romanian folk music he must negotiate band politics and musicians' egos as well as the Secret Police who may interrogate him on other issues if they catch him...
Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants
The Top Secret Violin Case premiered at La Mama Theatre, Melbourne, Australia during Midsumma Festival in January 2020, with outside eye by Görkem Acaroğlu and lighting by Teri Steer. Thanks to our Pozible supporters and our sponsors Coffex.
'An extraordinary gleeful exploration of some dark political events that besieged Eastern European countries under communist regimes. This light-hearted approach does not belittle the issues but allows the audience to see how suspicion and paranoia pervaded all aspects of life in countries like Romania... a highly energetic and lively production that is full of unexpected and enchanting moments.'
Patricia Di Risio, Stage Whispers


released June 16, 2020

Alana Hunt - Ionel Stoican, an ambitious violinist
Sasha Čuha - Brad Spiro, an American music student
Kirri Büchler - Tony Covaci, a proud contrabassist who flirts with the west
Sofia Chapman - Nicu Valentinu, an accordionist with a secret of his own
Dave Evans - News Reporter
Sofia Chapman - Mom / Mayor Gabi
Will Tait - Vasile, A Grade Securitate (Secret Police) operative
Dave Houston - Dumitru, B grade Securitate operative
Kirri Büchler - Lola, a woman of Paris

Script by Sofia Chapman
Photos by Darren Gill and Bruce Reilly


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Vardos Trio Melbourne, Australia

Driven by Alana's wild violin, chased by accordion and double bass, Vardos play folk and Romany music learnt from Roma (Gypsy) musicians during their travels in Eastern Europe. Based in Melbourne, Australia, the band has toured to Hungary, France, Berlin, Switzerland, Amsterdam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, London and Scotland, and plays at many a wedding, party and private function. ... more

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