It’s alarming to watch, frighteningly real and skilfully drawn

— REVIEW of ‘The Defence’ | Stage Whispers

The Defence | Review

MKA. Upstairs at Tuxedo Cat. 17 Wills Street Melbourne – 14 – 28 June 2014

‘Keen as Mustard and Sharp as Paint’ MKA’s HYPRTXTis a great chance to engage with some complex contemporary writing for theatre.  If you are after polished flawless production values – don’t even think about it.  However if you are prepared to take the risk of being confronted and challenged by energetic, passionate totally underfunded but eternally courageous gifted theatre makers – get to the Tuxedo Cat in the next couple of days and be inspired and soak up the ambiance.

The Defence by Chris Dunstan @ 8pm

The Defence not only looks at Strindberg the man, but perhaps more importantly it decisively describes a fraught director/actor relationship between a male director (Brett Johnson), with huge issues, and a competent cooperative actress (Catherine McNamara).  It cuts to the bone – touches on a very raw nerve where the interaction between director, actor and material has unhinged the director who has, subsequently, lurched into a kind of psychotic megalomaniacal misogynistic tirade.  His abusive behaviour is endorsed throughout by his male co-workers.  It’s alarming to watch, frighteningly real and skillfully drawn by writer/director Chris Dunstan and performed with flawless conviction by Brett Johnson, Catherine McNamara and Douglas Niebling.

Catherine McNamara plays the Actress playing Strindberg superbly.

The nudity and sexual references have the potential to be shocking and shockingly funny.

Very acute.

“It’s alarming to watch, frighteningly real and skilfully drawn by writer/director Chris Dunstan.”