Harry Greenwood(Joe) and Alice(Sarah Peirse). Pic Lisa Tomasetti

FURY, the new play at Sydney Theatre Company’s (STC) Wharf 1 Theatre, is a new work by prominent Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. The STC’s Artistic Director Andrew Upton commissioned the play from Murray-Smith, with the proviso being that it be a family drama.

In her Writer’s Note for the program, Murray-Smith revealed something of her creative process. ‘My starting point was the question- How do the children of radicals define themselves against the backdrop of their parents’ ideological convictions?’.

The focus in FURY is on sixteen years old schoolboy, Joe (Harry Greenwood). Joe is the progeny of distinguished middle class couple, award winning neuroscientist, Alice (Sarah Peirse) and critically acclaimed novelist, Patrick (Robert Menzies). He grew up in a privileged and intellectually fertile environment with his parents discussing the latest issues well into the night.

So why does Joe in the middle of the night, at 1 in the morning to be exact, together with his mate Trevor, graffiti the local mosque?! Their actions are caught on CCTV and a head teacher from school (Tahki Saul) goes to the family home to break the bad news to Alice and Patrick.

Murray-Smith’s tense, engrossing play poses a lot of questions, including that big, eternal question…the mystery of human behaviour…Why do people so some of the strange, unusual things that they do?! Joe’s anti-social, belligerent action is only one of a number of well-nigh incomprehensible actions that come to the surface over the course of the play.

Andrew Upton directs incisively and the cast,- Yuri Covich, Harry Greenwood, Geraldine Hakewill, Clare Jones, Robert Menzies, Sarah Pierse and Tahki Saul- are entirely convincing in their roles.

David Fleischer’s designer home style design, and Max Lyandvert’s atmospheric score worked effectively.

The STC’s production of Joanna Murray-Smith’s FURY, with a running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, opened at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company on 19th April and runs till Saturday 8th June, 2013