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STYX was one of the standout shows of the 2019 Perth Fringe World Festival season, winning the Fringe World Weekly Award and being nominated for a host other awards.  Having completed their successful run in Perth, the company then took STYX to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the show also was received with wide claim, further award nominations and packed houses.  STYX then took to venues in London before the Australian contingent of the supergroup that is at the heart of this hybrid theatre performance and love music event returned home.

STYX is a fable woven around the lives of Barton’s grandparents and features the words and voice of his Grandmother.  The show’s band features Barton’s sister, Addison Axe, as well as fellow members of Perth’s legendary pop punk band, Axe Girl, Vanessa Thornton (Axe Girl, Jebediah, The Tommyhawks) and Elle Walsh (Axe Girl, The Love Junkies, Trolley Boy), along with Thea Woodward (The Tommyhawks), Kaprou Lea (Superego) and Amy Tweed (UK).  STYX is a trans-national production that has very deep roots in Perth.  Its themes and explorations of the nature of existence are universal and, as well as reflecting his personal experience, stem from Barton’s interest in neuroscience.

Around The Sound spoke to Max Barton, one half of the production team behind STYX, last year as the team was heading to the UK.  Barton and his collaborator, Jethro Cooke, are the creative force behind STYX

Speaking about his creation, Barton said, “You’ve left behind little pieces in other people’s brains, that are warm, or fuzzy, or that smell or taste a certain way, and I think that’s the message of the piece.  It’s woven through this music and these interviews.  It’s about making peace with the idea that we may lose our memories.  We may think that’s us, that we are just the product of everything we’ve experienced, but I think we’re so much more than that and I think we still exist well beyond the loss of that.  That’s what this (STYX) has become as a piece of theatre.”

You can read the full interview on Around The Sound’s website here.

STYX plays from 21 to 26 January at Girls School Main Hall.  More information and tickets here.


Barton and Cooke also present The Second Body at Fringe World this year, running from 11 to 16 February at De Parel Spiegletent.

Based on the company’s namesake – Daisy Hildyard’s The Second Body – Barton and Cooke use their signature blend of live music, sound-processing and storytelling to grapple with the fraught personal and societal relationships we have with climate change, and our cultural inability to differentiate between the micro and the macro.

The performances in Perth mark the first ever sharing of this brand new work, and the company will welcome conversations with audiences after the show to feed into its ongoing creative development. They intend to premiere the production fully the following year.

More information and tickets here.

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