What a brilliant start to Red Stitch’s 2017 season, The Way Things Work is an exceptional 2 handed maelstrom of men behaving poorly brought on 3 thunderous curtain calls!
The Way Things Work thrilled me to bits, having been in newspaper game for so long so many of the references and the life realities presented rang so true me. I found myself belly laughing along with everyone else but also found myself loudly chortling at some of the darker mentions that seemed to quiet the majority of the audience, lucky me eh?
Set in a stark white stage these three vignettes on truly the way things work, the era of plausible deniability and alternative facts, the lies, deceit, depravity and desperation that roams the halls of power and our somewhat sickly society so adeptly nail the sad and sickeningly ‘cookie cutter’ personalities/behaviour that is most common nowadays.
Democracy dies behind closed doors…
Corruption stalks every level of our society and too often better judgement is blackmailed by the ‘do the right thing mate’ sense of irresponsibility the iconic idea of ‘mate-ship’ brings with it when used as a weapon or lever.
I could feel, hear and almost smell the palpable fear streaming from every pore of Joe Petruzzi as bent Minister Patrick Barlow collars his ‘mate’ department head Dench, Peter Houghton in a ‘Yes Ministerial’ squirrel grip over a looming Royal Commission enquiry.
Barlow knew he was doomed and the desperation of his entreaties to Dench culminate in a scene that sits the audience bolt upright with its timing and dramatic potential consequence.
Parts 2 and 3 explore some other intriguing ideas about the values of secret men’s business held by some males in this country, the story lines are pumped along by Russell Goldsmith’s tarnished triumphal toned sound track and the brilliant use of the stage and costumes to perfectly set the scenes, also designed by Aidan Fennessy.
The pace does not let up, I was engaged and committed throughout, best you experience this yourself.
Aidan Fennessy masterfully and thoughtfully directs Petruzzi and Houghton in a deep and delightful dissection of Aussie male behaviours, the shallowness of the pretend mateship that is expected as a given.
This Victorian Premiere show runs until March 5th – simply a must see 5-star masterful piece of contemporary theatre.
By Aidan Fennessy
Directed by Aidan Fennessy
Featuring Joe Petruzzi and Peter Houghton
Set and Costumes: Aidan Fennessy
Lighting: Matt Scott
Sound: Russell Goldsmith
Production and Stage Manager: Shae Attril