Social satire in theatre is a relatively rare beast these days – and farce more so – but in today’s warped contemporary political landscape it feels more necessary than ever.

Richie Black’s THE INSPECTION manages to update this most challenging of genres with surreal wit and panache.

Kate is a twenty-something single woman, living by herself in a typically messy apartment. Returning home after a night with a guy (“Y-chromosome, patterned baldness, wife and two kids – away for the weekend”) – she is alarmed to discover her Air BnB guest has held an orgy (“an artistic happening”) in her bathroom, her neighbour has off-loaded his baby on her, and the real-estate agent is planning an imminent inspection.

The cumulative effect of these events kick starts a hilarious sequence of misunderstandings, misadventures and ludicrous twists of logic that provides highly successful comedy for ninety minutes.

Outwardly, a critique of Sydney’s ridiculous rental market – the show successfully broadens its perspective to include an examination of identity and the pressures of conformism as applied to women.

Under the stewardship of director Jess Dick, a superb cast wrings all humour and pathos from Kate’s predicament.

In the role of Kate, Julia Christensen brilliantly carries the show with dexterous comic timing, energy and surprising poignancy. She forms a delightful comic partnership with the dynamic Amy Hack  who plays Carla, the aforementioned Air BnB guest.

Considerable verve and skill are also displayed by supporting players Tom Nauta, as  the gullible real estate agent Corey, Nicholas Hasemann and Kikki Skountzos who plays the ubiquitously terrifying head of strata).

The product of the Old 505’s Freshworks program, THE INSPECTION is a promising new work brought to us by a group of emerging artists. The play finds not only subversive wit in its set of situations but also provides thoughtful political commentary.

Richie Black’s THE INSPECTION played the Old 505 Theatre, 5 Eliza Street, Newtown between the 24th and 29th January.