Written by Moira Buffini
Directed by Imara Savage
Moira Buffini’s Dinner (directed by Imara Savage) is one party you’d do well to avoid.
If you survive the food you could easily be overcome by toxicity from other areas.
Initially, we think that hostess Page (Caroline Brazier) is a monster as she viciously sabotages every moment of joy for her husband Hal (played by Brandon Burke) at this celebration of his best-selling book.
However, we soon realise that though she may be a nasty piece of work he is just as vile. A little bit more insight brings the knowledge that Hal’s best-seller is a book that essentially justifies the elimination of remorse from life no matter what you do, how it is done, who is hurt and how much others’ suffer.
As our guests arrive we soon find that they all have a huge appetite for cruelty and despair except, maybe, for the impressionable artist Wynne (played by the delightful Rebecca Massey) who has a huge crush on Hal. The ante is upped when a car accident brings relative innocent Mike (Aleks Mikic) to the table. Mike is equally dazzled and disgusted by his perception of the gathered party, correctly guessing that he will receive more respect from the other guests if he tells them he is a criminal rather than a van driver.
The food is appalling, the conversation is vicious (and hilarious), the weather is howling and a murder takes place.
A scathing examination of privilege and the class system, Dinner is bleedingly funny.
The butler did it. Oops!
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
until 28 October 2016
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