The Top Secret Violin Case

Absurdist dark comedy set in the Romanian communist regime featuring Vardos live (drag) onstage.

The Top Secret Violin Case is a new original play by Sofia Chapman about an ambitious violinist in Romania during the dictator Ceausescu's communist regime. It is inspired by the true story of a musician who catches a western spy but instead of a cash reward from the government asks to record an album with the best musicians in Romania.
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. An American Brad 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...
This absurdist and darkly comic show features the all female band Vardos live on stage, playing the roles of the male Romanian musicians in drag. Writer/producer Sofia Chapman and partner Alana Hunt have made 7 trips together to Eastern Europe to study folk music, and this play draws on their experiences as queer people in a conservative and highly religious society, here encapsulated in the gay American character Brad.
Written by: Sofia Chapman
Outside eye: Görkem Acaroglu
Performed by: Vardos (i.e. Alana Hunt), Sofia Chapman, Kirri Büchler, Sasha Čuha
Lighting by: Teri Steer 
This is Sofia Chapman's 4th Midsumma play, following on from Todd in Venice, 2017, UNTITLED or The Seat of Narcissa, 2016 and The Anorexic Chef, 2011. Vardos have also had successful performances in Midsumma as their drag alter egos, the Transylvanian Gypsy Kings.

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by Murray Symes

Event & ticketing details


Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

When 21-26 Jan | Tue, Thu, Sat 8:30pm | Wed, Fri 6:30pm | Sun 4pm
Duration 1hr


Full $30.00
Concession $20.00


La Mama Courthouse

349 Drummond St, Carlton

Get directions


1, 6 to stop 112 | any Swanston St tram to stop 1

Event notes


Premiere, New Work

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