three stars

— Review of ‘The Economist’ | TheatreGuideLondon

The Economist | Review

Written by Tobias Manderson-Galvin and developed and presented by the Australian company MKA, this is a fiction openly based on the life of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian super-nationalist who killed 77 people he considered dangerously liberal in 2011. The text takes him through childhood, obsession with computer war games, studying economics at university, being rejected by the army for being too weird, joining gun clubs and building up an arsenal, to the massacre and his happy surrender to police, sure that he will be hailed as a national hero. Van Badham’s production casts an actress, Zoey Dawson, as the Breivik figure, to no special effect, while five other performers play Everyone Else in a smooth-flowing and frequently inventive ensemble. The playwright’s fidelity to his sources may be too strict for effective drama, as the play ultimately doesn’t tell us much that we didn’t get from the news – for example, his fear of immigrant contamination of Norway is given no background, and his anger at this particular group insufficiently explained. More imaginative guesswork about the killer’s personality or psychology would probably have made for a more successful play. As it is, this is more like a TV reconstruction, the more-or-less accurate story with actors playing the roles, delivering information but not enlightenment or understanding.

‘A more-or-less accurate story’

FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT: This is a bad review. He’s like ‘a more-or-less accurate story’. Was he even there??? The great god fucking Odin learns how to play World of Warcraft, and Freya Goddess of Love lives next door. Seriously guy. As though that was our mission. Lol. Three stars though. I’ll take it. Haha.