The Substation/
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The Substation/ Marcus Ian McKenzie/​ The Crying Room: Exhumed/

Photography by Amelia J Dowd.
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport, Victoria 3015, Australia
20–24 February 2024
Tue–Sat 7:30–9pm
Substation Program/​Performance

Wheelchair accessible


$25 Preview
$40 General Admission
$30 Concession
$25 Hobsons Bay Resident
$20 First Nations

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life indeed is a
precious gift
but i often think
it seems to send the wrong man
- Ren Hang

A crying room is a small, soundproof chamber at the back of a theatre auditorium where you can experience an event via one-way glass and live audio feed. As the name suggests, it’s a place you can go if you are crying so as not to disturb the audience. But what if a crying room was actually a site dedicated to emotional extraction? A place not to conceal tears, but to invoke them?

The Crying Room: Exhumed conjures a world of hyperspiritualists, clairvoyeurs, psychobabble and cybergrief. Prophecies will be scried and spectres will be divined - all for a nominal fee. But some fortunes ought to remain untold, and even the dead are buried with their mobile phones.

In this deeply personal and form-bending adaptation of his award-winning online work The Crying Room, Marcus Ian McKenzie scours infinite planes in search of his lost brother.

“McKenzie demands attention, here and in the future.”
- John Bailey, RealTime (on Hyperspirit)

“Glitched out, hilarious, touching, terrifying… just absolutely fucking mind blowing.”
- Cara Donnelly, Across The Aisle (on Subliminal Massage)

“...a cluster-fucked grief spiral”
- Chelsea Hopper, Memo Review (on The Crying Room)


There will be an artist talk following the performance on Friday 23 February 2024.


This is an 18+ event.

This performance contains full frontal nudity, mild coarse language, references to self harm, suicide, mental health, COVID-19, and death, and explicit references to drug use.

A breakout room is available for any audience members who feel overwhelmed during the performance. If you would like to access it, please approach a member of our staff, and they will assist you. You will be able to re-enter the performance should you choose to use the breakout room.

This performance contains haze, strobe and flashing lights, sustained bright lights and both sudden and sustained loud noises.

Latecomers will not be admitted.


The performance on Tuesday 20 February will be photographed, and the performance on Friday 23 February 2024 will be filmed. Please alert a member of our Front of House staff if you do not wish to be filmed on the night.


This event is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available. Registered assistance animals are welcome. Seating will be provided for all audience members.

The duration of the performance is 90 minutes.

The Substation galleries, bar and bookshop are open from 6.30pm (one hour prior to the performance).


Created by Marcus Ian McKenzie with Anna Nalpantidis, Derrick Duan, Maria Moles, Romanie Harper and Richard Vabre.

Marcus Ian McKenzie - Lead Artist / Performer
Anna Nalpantidis - Creative Producer / Dramaturg
Romanie Harper - Set / Costume Designer
Richard Vabre - Lighting Designer
Derrick Duan - Cybernetics and Oracle Engineer
Jacinta Anderson - Production Manager / Technical Stage Manager
Maria Moles - Musician
Ciaran Frame - Technical Consultant (SensiLab)
Performers – William Strom, Daniel Szesiong-Todd and Jacob Abela


Commissioned by The Substation. Presented by The Substation and Club Greg International. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body, and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

With thanks to SensiLab, Experimenta, and original commissioners of The Crying Room - Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe as part of Take Over! in 2020.

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1 Market Street, Newport,
Victoria 3015, Australia

Currently closed
Wed–Sat 12–6pm

(03) 9391 1110

The Substation Galleries are currently closed, and will reopen on Thursday 30 May with 'Object of Projection' by Kim Gordon.

We acknowledge and recognise the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Yalukit-willam of the Kulin Nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land that The Substation is on. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.

We are committed to continually improving our services to ensure our events can be enjoyed by all. If you have specific access requirements (including seating arrangements for events) please get in touch.

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