Gosh, it's been a while since I've written over here. YEs, there have been shows in Canberra, and no, I haven't seen them, and I have no particular excuse other than ... I just didn't get to them.
So here's the first show of the year I actually saw. Not in Canberra, but at least by a Canberra writer, set largely in Canberra and originally workshopped and tried out in various productions in Canberra before hitting the big smoke. This is a very meta-heavy show, with four women playing most of the characters and Eden Falk playing the author, commenting both on his play and the reaction the title has gotten from right-wingers (this may be the first play to be significantly improved by dramaturgy from Andrew Bolt).
The play-within-the-play is an OTT satire of politics, revolutionary and otherwise, in their reaction to climate change, through the form of a Die-Hard-esque action movie. It's incredibly cartoonish satire done to hilarious perfection by Rebecca Massey as our heroine, besieged Environment minister Gwen Malkin, Sheridan Harbridge as her PR offsider Georgina Bekken, Lucia Mastantone as the terrorist Catch and Emily Clarke as both a sniffy journalist and a mining executive. It plays broad but hits every target, particularly as the action gets more and more ridiculous leading to a climax of complete absurdity that simultaneously gives us an effective action finale.
The wraparound is where the thinking really happens, and where the real dialogue with the audience begins. This is a play that examines itself and the easy attitudes expressed within as much as it examines the outside world. What does climate change really mean, and are we really ready for it?
Lee Lewis delivers a production that pushes the tiny space at the stables to its limit. There's a whole heap of projections working in conjunction with the action, sometimes footnoting it, and ... every once in a while, possibly upstaging it, briefly. It's hyperactive theatre at its best - you hang on and enjoy the ride and you think about the thoughtful bits on your way home, grinning, stunned and overwhelmed. It left me gasping in a good way. Yes, even the bit about how all bloggers are crap, which I can't find in the script now but which I laughed my head off while in the theatre.