sneaky play in the very best of ways

— REVIEW of ‘The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe” | Brisbane Times

The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ | Review

Simone Perkins | Brisbane Times
11 Sep, 2013

Street reviewer Simone Perkins finds herself drawn into a beguiling web in The Unspoken Word is Joe by MKA: Theatre of New Writing.

The Unspoken Word is Joe is a sneaky play. Before you realise it, actors are acting (extraordinarily well), the script is running (quite beautifully) and the characters are unfolding (rather beguilingly).

It is a story wrapped in a story, a play about a play: meta-fiction at its cunning best. The audience is pulled through such raw and occasionally confronting drama that the very funny moments are unexpected and refreshing (as I said, sneaky). Writer Zoey Dawson’s work is clever piece of theatre.

The five characters – or six if you include the long suffering stage technician Kevin – are well written and relatable, and you sink into the action from beginning to end.

The set is informal to say the least, and it’s immediately disarming. The script won the 2012 Melbourne Festival Discovery Award. The actors superbly support and develop each character at exactly the right pace (except of course for Kevin, who does very well on the lights nonetheless).

I was instructed to be honest in writing this review, to point out fault where fault exists. I did try to find those faults – but somewhere between ‘Man Two’ munching on a Monte Carlo biscuit and ‘Woman One’ crawling under a stack of chairs I must have missed them. A sneaky play in the very best of ways and an hour very well spent.

“a sneaky play in the best of ways”