this is new theatre at its most exciting: uncompromising, fearless and unrelentingly, disturbingly human.
The Economist | Review
Helen Stringer | Time Off Magazine
19 Feb, 2013
The Economist, by Melbourne’s MKA: Theatre of New Writing, tells the story of Norwaegian Utoya Island massacre, following A***** B******’s (here Anglicised as Andrew Berwick’s) journey from regular xenophobe to nationalist, mass murdering fanatic. It’s a brutal, unsympathetic, no holds barred exposition of the devolution of an alienated young man and it’s overwhelmingly succesful in exploring a damaged and dangerous psyche without resorting to easy caricature.
The Economist is for the most part, riveting, with tighet storytelling and masterful performances hurtling at breakneck speed through its 65-minutes run. Zoey Dawson, who takes the role of Berwick and imbues it with an ever-increasing, unhinged intensity is excellent, while the rest of the ensemble cast play Berwick’s (perceived) antagonists with unerring finesse.
If there’s a fault worth noting it’s that there are moments, albeit brief, that feel slightly like student theatre (a synchronised chorus, profuse swearing and very loud shouting come to mind) and it sometimes – again very briefly – attempts to cram too much into a small space, which seems to be a theme at World Theatre Festival this year. That aside, this is new theatre at its most exciting: uncompromising, fearless and unrelentingly, disturbingly human.