an engaging work... does not disappoint.
The Trouble with Harry | Review
Benjamin Meyer | The Music
31 Oct, 2014
MKA and Darebin Speakeasy present The Trouble With Harry as part of the Melbourne Festival 2014. MKA are the only independent theatre company with a show in this year’s Melbourne festival and The Trouble With Harry does not disappoint.
Set in 1920s Sydney, the work explores the true story of Eugenia Falleni (aka Harry Crawford) and how gender constructs permeate through society to constrict individuals. The narrative is engaging with Lachlan Phillpot demonstrating his considerable talent as a playwright. Eugyeene Teh’s set design is fantastic and transforms the cavernous Main Hall into an intimate space. This is assisted by the individual head phones that are handed out to each audience member at the start of the performance that receive dialogue from the mic’d actors. While first impressions are that the headphones are at best kitschy and at worst unnecessary, they end up being one of the work’s strongest elements as they heighten the audience’s experience of every nuanced action onstage. Finally, the performances are skilled and genuine. Maude Davey is entirely convincing in the role, adopting the mannerisms of an early 20th century male with aplomb. Elizabeth Nabben, who plays Crawford’s estranged daughter, conveys teenage angst and sensibilities with ease.
The Trouble With Harry is an engaging work that demonstrates the strength of Australian independent theatre.