How to Rule the World
Writer: Nakkiah Lui
Director: Page Rattray
Sydney Theatre Company
One of our most interesting writers, Nakkiah Lui, continues to take Australia’s pulse in her latest work ‘How to Rule the World’; a Svengalian tale of power, purpose and ludicrously reality-mirroring events.
We are presented with three young, highly educated Millennials - Aboriginal journalist Vic (Nakkiah Lui), Tongan political adviser Chris (Anthony Taufa) and Korean pro-bono immigration lawyer Zaza (Michelle Lim Davidson). Now, Vic is sick of being always asked to write social commentary, Chris is sick of being told he has the wrong ‘look’ for political candidacy (he is told that no one imagines a Tongan as anything but a bouncer or a furniture removalist) and Zaza, employed by one of the big consultancy firms, is having an existential crisis.
We meet our fabulous three in a bar scene where they are snorting cocaine and complaining about their lots in life while their only white male friend – a private school educated, podcast listening drug dealer ‒ gives them stick about hardly being representative of those disenfranchised groups they espouse to stand for. High on drugs and dirty of life, they devise a dastardly plan …
Next we find our friends auditioning for 'Mr White and Perfectly Average' and they discover him! Tommy Ryan (played by Hamish Michael) slips into his role as an up and coming politician who can say absolutely nothing with complete three buzz word, mono syllabic conviction in a perfectly timed media byte. Of course, Tommy’s career rockets but unfortunately not quite fast enough to suit our young friends’ plan. Therein lies the rub.
They know they can get their Tommy Ryan elected if they are prepared to become as dirty as those they wish to depose (by leaking potentially career and marriage destroying information) and the whole philosophical quandary – whether the ends justifies the means – comes into play.
Playwright Lui in an interview professed that it was hard to out imagine the comedy that is Australia’s real-life political soap opera. In ‘How to Rule the World’ she has put in a hilarious and thought-provoking effort.
‘How to Rule the World’ deftly updates our cast of political caricatures.
How to Rule the World
Sydney Opera House
Until 30 March