on the strength of this show, MKA is a company that will make its mark
22 Short Plays | Review
MKA delivers edgy, absurd sketch comedy.
THERE’S a niche for a true writers’ theatre. The MTC’s Lawler Studio, the Malthouse’s Tower Theatre, and Red Stitch’s writing residencies all provide an avenue for new Australian plays. MKA will add to the pool from which they have to draw. As a start-up theatre company, this one stands out for its ambition, energy and professionalism.
David Finnigan’s 22 Short Plays makes the 10-minute play festival Short and Sweet seem like War and Peace. ”Plays” is overstating the case. It’s edgy, absurd sketch comedy, and the performers – Conor Gallacher, Paul Blenheim and Ellen Grimshaw – handle it with effortless comic skill.
Finnegan turns a whimsical kaleidoscope on a world saturated by mass marketing, media and surveillance. There’s some seriously twisted hilarity. A 35-year-old goes undercover at a high school to tackle a year 8 pornography ring. A Beowulf video game has a vaguely epileptic glitch. There are also a modern-day Medusa, communist pop songs, organ harvesting, teacher-student orgies, and bizarre ads for jeans.
Tobias Manderson-Galvin’s direction is snappy, rippling with inanity and deflationary humour. Undergraduate moments don’t detract from the show’s binding satire of a culture with attention deficit disorder. One technical hitch meant I couldn’t hear the names of each piece. But on the strength of this show, MKA is a company that will make its mark.