This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first production of this landmark Australian play. While Sport For Jove’s production, as co- directed by Damien Ryan and Samantha Young, has some terrific segments, it a little uneven, mainly in the first half, where the acting, at times, seemed a little forced.
The staging was excellent – Lucilla Smith’s set design was very impressive – lyrical and simple, featuring a stage partially raked and there was a very effective use of light drapes which were sometimes tied back.
David Gieselmann’s play, translated by David Tushingham and presented by Pantsguys, is absurdist black comedy at its best. It produces many laughs, numerous plot twists, some shocks and highlights some very unpleasant aspects of human behaviour.
A bored young couple, Sarah (Claire Lovering) and chaos researcher Ralf (Tim Reuben), invite Edith (Paige Gardiner) who works with Sarah and her architect husband Bastian (Garth Holcombe) for dinner and an evening of mind games and manipulation. They fail to provide dinner and order take away pizzas in one of the plays many clever comic moments.
Things take a dark turn when Sarah & Ralph claim they have killed their co-worker Mr Kolpert and put his body in a large trunk which features on the side of the stage. Did they really murder Mr Kolpert, or are they just carrying out a grim wind-up of their guests, especially Bastian, who comes to truly believe they are the callous murderers despite their urbane and witty chat?