Richard Roxburgh interview

Richard Roxburgh chats about Waiting for Godot, Cyrano de Bergerac and Rake.

Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh in Waiting for Godot. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh in Waiting for Godot. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

In a case of life imitating art, Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving spent the first seven days of rehearsal not only waiting for Godot but waiting for Hungarian director Tamas Ascher.

As in Beckett’s play, he never appeared. Ascher couldn’t make the trip to Australia because of a back injury so Andrew Upton ended up directing the Sydney Theatre Company’s superb production, now playing, in which Roxburgh plays Estragon to Weaving’s Vladimir.

“For the first week it was ‘waiting for Tamas’ so the overlaps between rehearsals and the play (meant) there were all these hilarious moments,” says Roxburgh. “I wonder if it’s ever happened before, the director not turning up.”

It was while Ascher was directing Roxburgh and Weaving in STC’s acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya, which toured to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, that the idea of doing Godot was born.

“We were rehearsing the scene between Astrov (Weaving) and Vanya (Roxburgh) when Vanya has disgraced himself with the pistol and he’s whinging about his life. It’s one of those unfortunately funny moments. We shared a cigarette as we sat there moping and Tamas just burst out laughing and said, ‘It’s Estragon and Vladimir,’” recalls Roxburgh.

“That’s where the whole idea came from so it was strange to do it without Tamas. I suppose for the first week we were (second-guessing what Ascher might have done). We know Tamas well enough and Anna Lengyel his translator was in the room. She’s a dramatist in her own right and incredibly intimate with his work and methods and style and modes of thinking. But then when it become clear that Tamas wasn’t coming, Andrew had to step up and make decisions so that became another part of the process.”

Roxburgh has never seen Beckett’s landmark, absurdist play but is thrilled to be performing in a production of it – particularly with Weaving.

“It’s obviously one of those plays that you know and I’d always hoped I would find the right environment to do it in and so when it cropped up it was perfect. Hugo and I have such a great chemistry and such great fun together,” he says. “There’s a reliability to that relationship that feels like it could be fleshed out in different ways.”

The two leading Australian actors have known each other a long time. “I essentially became an actor because of seeing Hugo,” says Roxburgh.

“I saw him play Toby Belch in his third year touring production of Twelfth Night when he was at NIDA. It toured to Canberra where I was at university and seeing what he did in that (inspired me). I can remember the production. There were some really fine actors in his year but his Toby Belch was just this landmark of a thing. It was so full of the joy of performance and not without subtlety that I just thought, ‘God, whatever that is I would love to have a piece of that in my life.’

“That really stuck with me. I think the first time we worked together was when I ended up casting him as Warburton, the homeless priest character in a production of That Eye, the Sky that I did in the Sydney Festival years ago. Then we cast him in the first episode of (ABC-TV series) Rake. Then we did Vanya, so we’ve always been in touch.”

Roxburgh says that during Godot rehearsals it wasn’t the play’s bleakness or abstraction that he found tricky but the way Beckett is “dealing with an entirely invented world in a way that doesn’t conform to the ordinary rules of society. Conversation, emotional logic, all of those thing that we kind of adhere to and that you operate within in a normal play aren’t there or if they are they are interspersed so it’s like you get refracted elements of those things throughout. That’s really a bitch to get hold of. It doesn’t conform to the usual rules. There’s no kind of essential narrative logic or emotional logic running through it so getting it into your head is hard. People always say ‘how do actors learn lines?’ Normally you think ‘that’s nonsensical, that’s just what we do’ but in this case it was so hard.”

Although the play is bleak and steeped in what Roxburgh describes as “a kind of apocalyptic sadness”, it is also very funny, with the STC production finding a great deal of humour.

“(Beckett) was pulling a lot from the energy and the dynamism of vaudeville, from the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton. All of that energy is in the play as well,” says Roxburgh. “I’m sure there have been incredibly bleak, depressing versions of this play but that’s not the version we are doing.”

Next year, Roxburgh plays Cyrano de Bergerac for the STC (November 11 – December 20); something he suggested to the company.

“It’s a beautiful story that I absolutely love. I’ve always wanted to do it so I talked to them about it,” he says. “I thought Jeremy Sims did a really beautiful Cyrano here (at STC in 1999 directed by Marion Potts) as a kind of chamber piece, which I couldn’t have imagined prior to seeing it but I thought it was really great. But we are going to do a large-scale thing, which I think is great for the gallantry and the fun and the majesty of it.”

Meanwhile, Roxburgh returns to our television screens in February as Cleaver Greene, the brilliant but incorrigible, womanising, self-destructive criminal barrister in the third series of Rake – the award-winning ABC comedy-drama series, which he co-created, produces and stars in.

A US remake starring Greg Kinnear as the barrister, now called Keegan Deane, and Miranda Otto as his ex-wife will begin screening in January.

Roxburgh says that he wasn’t interested in playing the role in the US. “There would have been a great reason to do it financially but I suppose I felt that I have done my Cleaver and if I did one that I had to compromise on or that I didn’t feel I had as much creative control over, I would have hated it. And so in the end we thought it was much safer to say that we get somebody fantastic in America to do it – and I think Greg Kinnear is fantastic. I can’t think of anyone better to do Cleaver over there.”

Asked why the character has been renamed, Roxburgh grins. “That was at my insistence. I just thought, ‘he can’t have Cleaver’. Cleaver is named after the mayor of the town I grew up in – Cleaver Bunton, who was the mayor of Albury. There’s something about that that’s terribly personal and that was part of the fun of the original imagining of the thing.”

Filming for Rake in Australia wrapped just a couple of weeks before rehearsals for Godot began. Roxburgh admits he would have liked to have had a break after “the intensity” of Rake. “But luckily my character in Godot has to look hideous and aged and exhausted and spent so it’s perfect!” he quips.

“But I do need to have time off (after Godot) to get my batteries back in order. It was very hard this year (shooting Rake). We didn’t have (co-creator/writer) Peter Duncan. He and Andrew Knight wrote the scripts but Peter was working on the American one so he was over there. So on a day-to-day basis the ten phone calls I would have had with him in the previous series saying, ‘rewrite this, this doesn’t work, I can’t say that, this doesn’t make sense’ couldn’t be had so we had to find a way of getting through that this time, which made it exponentially more tricky. Thank god for (director) Jessica Hobbs who was really extraordinary and stepped up to do a lot of that work.

“But it was tricky because we knew where the bar had to be and we knew we couldn’t do something sub-optimal. And you know when it’s right. You can feel it, you can hear it, so when it wasn’t you just couldn’t let that go. It actually made this season so much harder but I think it’s worked. I think it’s paid off and it’s absolutely beautiful this season.”

Roxburgh confirms that the forthcoming Australian series will be the last.

“I do think you could continue to take Cleaver on all kinds of magical mystery tours,” he says. “I feel like he’s this character you could put in a jungle in Borneo and see what would happen and there would be fun to be had with that. But we were always determined to leave it with grace and dignity and leave people wanting more rather than less. It got to a point where we were having to massage story lines because they were too similar to ones we had already done.

“And also I suppose I want to see what else I’ve got,” says Roxburgh. “Having said that, I’m going to miss Cleaver terribly because I absolutely love that character. There’s so much of my clown in Cleaver and I will miss him.”

Waiting for Godot plays at Sydney Theatre December 21. Bookings: 9250 1777. Read my review here: https://jolitson.com/2013/11/25/waiting-for-godot/

An edited version of this story appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on November 3

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Waiting for Godot

Sydney Theatre, November 16

Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

It’s just three years since Ian McKellen and Roger Rees toured here in a British production of Waiting for Godot that played up the vaudevillian theatricality in Samuel Beckett’s extraordinary, absurdist drama, with Vladimir and Estragon relating to each other like a well-oiled comedy duo.

Now comes a Sydney Theatre Company production starring Richard Roxburgh as Estragon and Hugo Weaving as Vladimir that undoes you emotionally in a far more profound way. The comedy is still there, beautifully so ­– though less self-consciously vaudevillian – but beneath both the humour and the existential bleakness is great tenderness, humanity, pathos and a disarming sense of caring.

Even the oppressed Lucky (Luke Mullins) gently wipes the face of his tyrannical master Pozzo (Philip Quast), having helped him to his feet at they prepare to depart in Act Two. It’s an incredibly touching moment that takes you completely by surprise and has you suddenly re-evaluating their relationship.

The production was to have been helmed by Hungarian director Tamas Ascher, who directed Roxburgh and Weaving in the STC’s acclaimed 2012 Uncle Vanya. When an injury left him unable to fly, Andrew Upton stepped into the breach, with Ascher’s assistant Anna Lengyel as his associate, and directs a production of great clarity that is light on its feet yet terribly moving.

Zsolt Khell’s stark set resembles a charred, empty theatre, open to the back wall, within a false proscenium studded with broken and missing light bulbs. The famous tree is a thin streak of trunk with a single branch that arches heavenwards, disappearing from view.

It is beautifully lit by Nick Schlieper, who bathes the stage in a sudden snap of blue light as night descends, while Alice Babidge’s costumes are suitably tattered and worn.

Weaving and Roxburgh are like two sad but resilient clowns who have made their way together, for better or worse. Roxburgh’s boyish Gogo is the more lost, despairing and occasionally angry, tugging plaintively at his ill-fitting boots and looking to Didi for comfort and food, yet he is playfully funny too.

Weaving’s Didi is jauntier and more in control, rolling the words around his mouth as he enunciates crisply like an old theatrical pro, the one who seems to remember more of the past, including the fact that they are to meet the enigmatic Godot.

Hugo Weaving, Luke Mullins, Richard Roxburgh and Philip Quast.  Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Hugo Weaving, Luke Mullins, Richard Roxburgh and Philip Quast. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Quast and Mullins are more than their match as Pozzo and Lucky who appear in both acts, helping to alleviate the endless waiting.

Mincing onto the stage, his back arched dramatically as if promenading amongst high society, Quast is superb as the pompous, grandiose Pozzo: a big, corpulent figure compared to his scrawny servant. With his rich, resonant voice, Quast’s Pozzo is like a ringmaster in the first act, brutally in control. In the second act, now blind, he staggers on like a wounded bull, his authority undone.

With long, straggly white hair, Mullins is a ghostly yet feral presence and knocks you for six with his explosive, tortured outpouring of Lucky’s famous “thinking” monologue.

On opening night Rory Potter completed the exemplary cast as the boy who arrives, twice, to say that Godot won’t be coming.

In this thrilling, incredibly special production, you experience afresh Beckett’s iconic, exquisitely written play about everything and nothing. It really does seem to encompass the whole of life. Unforgettable.

Waiting for Godot runs at the Sydney Theatre until December 21. Bookings: 9250 1777 or sydneytheatre.com.au

An edited version of this review appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on November 24

The Maids review

Isabelle Huppert and Cate Blanchett. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Isabelle Huppert and Cate Blanchett. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

The starry line-up of Cate Blanchett, Isabelle Huppert and Elizabeth Debicki in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids is one of the most glittering pieces of casting seen on the Sydney stage for a while.

The vehicle that brings them together, meanwhile, is a dark, challenging, existential play.

Written in 1947 by French playwright Jean Genet, The Maids was inspired by a notorious, real-life case in 1933 when two sisters working as servants in Le Mans brutally murdered their mistress and her daughter. Discovered naked in bed together with the murder weapons, they immediately confessed.

In the play, two maids play a sadistic, sexualised, ritual game in which they act out the roles of servant and dominating employer and fantasise about killing their mistress. Reality and fantasy slip and slide in a play with layer upon layer of role-playing.

On this particular day, Claire (Blanchett) is playing the role of the mistress, while her older sister Solange (Huppert) plays Claire. An alarm clock from the kitchen sits on the bedside table to warn them of the impending arrival of their mistress (Debicki).

Director Benedict Andrews uses a muscular, new translation by himself and Andrew Upton, which feels contemporary yet true to the play, while the glossy, stylised production features several of his directorial signatures: glass walls and cameras feeding live footage onto a large screen.

Designer Alice Babidge transforms the stage into an opulent boudoir with a long rack of elegant couture, a bed, dressing table and hundreds of flowers in vases all over the room, with fake flowers underlining the theme of artifice.

The walls act as mirrors but through them we glimpse camera operators. The video (designed by Sean Bacon) gives us close-ups of the actors and brief scenes from a bathroom behind the main room but also picks out details like a knocked-over vase or rubber gloves lying on the bed. At times it’s distracting but overall it works, enhancing the intimacy of the play in the large theatre and the sense of voyeurism.

Andrews does a great job of mining the dark humour in the play and genuinely jolts you at times (think spit, profanities and toilet scenes).

The three actors respond to his vision with deeply committed, heightened performances.

Blanchett is remarkable, mercurial and fearless as she swans around histrionically in the guise of the mistress, then slumps back into Claire’s slutty, bitter anger and despair at her dead-end life. Holding nothing back, she seems genuinely spent at the curtain call.

The petite Huppert is more wry, playful and laissez-faire as Solange in a highly physical performance that sees her doing pull-ups from the clothes rack, pumping her legs on the bed and moving in a jerky, girlish fashion. However, her strong French accent has you straining to understand her at times, particularly when she speaks quickly. In a wordy play where the language and what they say is so important, it’s problematic.

Though both Blanchett and Huppert are individually terrific, the relationship between the two maids as co-dependent sisters doesn’t feel entirely believable.

Elizabeth Debicki and Cate Blanchett.  Photo: Lisa Tomaetti

Elizabeth Debicki and Cate Blanchett. Photo: Lisa Tomaetti

In the smaller role of the mistress, the statuesque Debicki (a 22-year old newcomer fresh from playing Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby) holds her own. Flouncing in like a celebrity used to the glare of the paparazzi flashbulbs, she captures the character’s skittish, careless, preening, self-regarding behaviour as she gushes over the maids one minute and barely knows one from the other the next.

The mistress is play-acting herself: playing at being the authoritative mistress as well as the devoted, suffering wife whose husband has been arrested. Debicki feels very young for the role and pushes close to farce as the mistress dashes off to see her husband but it’s a mesmerising performance by an actor we will doubtless be seeing a great deal more of.

But for all the passion on stage, I watched the production dispassionately, almost forensically without being sucked into the play. I felt totally disconnected from it. Perhaps that’s what Andrews wants; Genet certainly doesn’t invite an emotional response but I suspect it’s partly the theatre too, which feels very large for such an intimate piece.

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating production of an intriguing play with some very fine acting.

Sydney Theatre until July 20

An edited version of this review appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on June 16 

Elizabeth Debicki interview

 

Elizabeth Debicki

Elizabeth Debicki

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for Elizabeth Debicki, the 22- year old Australian actor who is being hailed as the breakout star of Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated, much-scrutinised film The Great Gatsby.

She’s walked the red carpet for the movie’s gala opening at the Cannes Film Festival and at the lavish Sydney premiere. She’s wined and dined with the rich and famous at several exclusive events including a Prada dinner hosted by US Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

In between all that she’s been rehearsing a production of Jean Genet’s The Maids for Sydney Theatre Company with Cate Blanchett and French film star Isabelle Huppert.

It’s enough to go to a girl’s head, but Debicki seems unaffected by all the glitz, glamour and media attention.

“Someone asked me, ‘how do you stay grounded?’ Well, it’s a bit bizarre but I feel very normal. I just feel busy and tired. And happy,” she says.

“I’m happy that the film has come out and is doing so well and I’m happy to be working at STC on this play. I think that’s one of the best things to keep you grounded after a whirlwind press junket ­– waking up and coming to a theatre rehearsal and standing at the foot of (the play) and saying, ‘I’m not sure how to do this.’ That will keep you grounded,” she says.

“Someone asked me if I’ve been recognised (on the street). The answer is no. I don’t look anything like myself in this film. So life is pretty normal. I’m just working here everyday.”

“Here” is the Wharf Theatre where she is rehearsing Genet’s dark, elliptical play about two maids who act out a ritual fantasy of murdering their mistress.

We meet during a break in rehearsals. She’s dressed in ripped jeans and striped T-shirt without a skerrick of makeup but she still looks glowingly elegant. Much has been made of her creamy, luminous beauty, which has a similar quality to Cate Blanchett’s, with inevitable comparisons being made between the two actresses.

Debicki shrugs the idea off as if flicking at a fly. “Oh, it’s very flattering but I think people just have to have something to liken you to,” she says amiably.

Genet’s 1947 play was inspired by the notorious, true-life story of French servants Christine and Lea Papin, two quiet sisters who in 1933 brutally murdered their mistress and her daughter, attacking them with a kitchen knife and a hammer and gouging their eyes out.

The Sydney Theatre Company production will use a new translation by Benedict Andrews, who also directs, and Andrew Upton.

Elizabeth Debicki during rehearsals for The Maids. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Elizabeth Debicki during rehearsals for The Maids. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Debicki plays the mistress. Starting rehearsals with Blanchett and Huppert was, she says, “daunting and thrilling. ‘Surreal’ is my buzzword in my life (at the moment). It’s an accurate way to describe it. It’s very strange when you meet somebody that you’re admired for so long you are a bit in awe of that person.

“I definitely was, and I still am everyday as I watch them work. And I did spend the first few days feeling quite – not out of my depth because nobody made me feel that – but I was sitting there pinching myself. I kept looking at Cate and Isabelle because I’d watched their films forever. I’d met Cate in person before when I came to talk about the play with her and Andrew. That was surreal. We had a cup of coffee and it was like, ‘I’m having coffee with Cate Blanchett.’

“But I’d never met Isabelle and I’ve loved her work for so long so to be actually working with her is kind of electric. I still can’t believe it when we are playing the scene together that I have the honour of working with someone with that talent.”

Andrews has no doubt she belongs in their company and predicts that her “brave, thrilling turn” as the mistress will be “an unforgettable Sydney debut of a serious new actress.

“Elizabeth is an astonishing talent. The real deal,” he says. “It’s a treat to watch her share the stage with Cate and Isabelle – two of the greatest living stage actresses. I love watching her soak it all in and learning on her feet. She’s commanding, seemingly fearless, hyper-inventive, deliciously playful and fiercely intelligent.”

For her part, Debicki describes Andrews’ direction as “wonderful and relentless – which is a good combination. It keeps me on my toes. I remember something Cate said: that his rehearsal room was really muscular, and it is. It’s incredibly physical. It’s relentless (but) not in a bad way. The play is like that too, it demands a lot of the actors. There are so many things happening on so many layers and levels and they are firing off all at once.

“One day in rehearsal you could be working on one level and then you think, ‘oh good, I’ve got that’, then you come in the next day and there’s another whole level. It’s just an every-expanding monster.

“It’s all about roles, the maids playing the role of the mistress and (one of them) playing the other maid. But the mistress is playing the role of mistress as well as playing the abandoned mother and devoted woman so there is so much role-playing. When we first started work on it I found it so dense I didn’t know where to place things but I think I’ve almost let myself not know now.”

Debicki was born in Paris to a Polish father and Australian mother, both of them classically trained dancers. They moved to Melbourne when she was five, where her mother still runs a dancing school.

She trained as a dancer but by age 16 was too tall to become a ballerina – she is a statuesque 1.9 metres – so turned her attention to acting. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2010 and a few months later was cast in The Gift by Joanna Murray-Smith at Melbourne Theatre Company. She also landed a bit part in Stephan Elliott’s film A Few Best Men.

During The Gift, she put down an audition tape for the role of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby. “I think by then they had been trying to cast Jordan for a while,” she says.

The LA casting agent was impressed and Debicki was flown to Los Angeles to audition for Luhrmann during a crazy four-day trip.

Jordan Baker is a professional golfer, who lives a reckless, glamorous lifestyle. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had playing a character – though Mistress is getting pretty close,” says Debicki. “I think Jordan is a fabulous role. She just a party girl. To be perfectly honest I just had a really good time. There’s something really liberating about playing someone who is so reckless, with real commitment issues. She’s so careless. I’ve said it before but I just inhabited her bold ‘whateverness’. That was how I survived such a massive shoot. But she was great. I got amazing costumes, amazing jewellery, great wig. I kind of just had a great time.”

Debicki, who admits she’s never been sporty, had a golfing instructor for the role.

“There’s one (golf) swing in the whole movie. It was probably my most nervous day of shooting,” she says. “I had the instructor on the side of the camera telling me how to do it. I was so determined to get it perfect. This was a massive character trait – she’s a professional golfer and there are so many people around the world who play golf so if they watch the movie and go, ‘that’s a terrible swing’, I’d be mortified. So I tried really hard but I don’t think I’d ever play golf again. It’s so dull ­­– though conceptually I understand that it’s a beautiful game.”

Reviews for The Great Gatsby may be mixed but Debicki, who has landed raves, has nothing but praise for Luhrmann and the film. “I think it’s beautiful. I’m so proud of it,” she says.

Having moved to Sydney for the filming, Debicki been based there off and on for the past 18 months but says she’ll go where the work is.

“I’m actually really good at doing that,” she says. “It just suits my personality. I get bored when I’m in the same place. I like building a nest somewhere then dismantling it and moving on. I’m too much of a traveller I guess. I like to be in new places.”

Doubtless she has been inundated with works offers but right now she has her sights set firmly on The Maids.

“I’ve got really wonderful agents in America already that I’ve had since I signed up to the movie,” she says. “Certainly a movie like this does help (your profile) obviously, but I’m really focussing on getting through this play. It’s quite consuming at the moment. Then I can take the blinkers off and see what the future holds.”

The Maids, Sydney Theatre, June 4 – July 20. 

An edited version of this story appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on June 2.

Fury

Sydney Theatre Company

Known for writing plays that voice the concerns, dramas and ideologies of educated, articulate, middle class protagonists, Joanna Murray-Smith is one of Australia’s most successful playwrights, embraced by audiences but frequently dividing critics.

Her new play Fury, commissioned by Sydney Theatre Company, is set in the comfortable, inner-city home of a liberal, professional family. Alice (Sarah Peirse) is a highly successful neuroscientist who is about to receive a prestigious humanitarian award. Her husband Patrick (Robert Menzies) is a moderately successful novelist.

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Harry Greenwood and Sarah Peirse. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

The play opens with a well-researched student journalist (Geraldine Hakewill) interviewing Alice and then Patrick for a personal profile about Alice: an obvious device (which Murray-Smith also used in her play Honour) that allows the characters to articulate thoughts they wouldn’t in ordinary conversation.

A teacher (Tahki Saul) then arrives to inform them that their only son Joe (Harry Greenwood) has been caught with a high school friend putting graffiti on a local mosque. From here the play unfolds to reveal a secret that will undo the family.

Fury is very much a play of ideas set once again in a familiar, middle class milieu. It’s wordy but engrossing. The writing is heightened, sharp, intelligent and witty. The ideas are provocative and eloquently expressed.

In one scene the parents (Claire Jones and Yure Covich) of the other boy – who come from a more working class background and could not have afforded to send their son to the same school were it not for a sporting scholarship – visit Alice and Patrick to discuss with the mosque incident.

The father states clearly and unapologetically his views on the situation, from Muslims living in Australia to parenting today. Again, it’s a way to discuss ideas but to my mind Murray-Smith avoids making it all-too-obvious debate by creating characters that extend beyond stereotypical mouthpieces. Terrific performances by Covich and Jones definitely help.

Andrew Upton directs a tight, absorbing production, drawing detailed, layered performances from a strong cast. Peirse in particular is compelling as Alice, moving from easy, authoritative, self-assurance to unravelling doubt and vulnerability, while Greenwood makes a very impressive professional stage debut as the troubled Joe.

David Fleischer’s open set with concrete walls and polished marble floor is a cold, brutal, elegantly contemporary space that suits the emotional world of the play though it doesn’t feel like the book-filled home of arty intellectuals.

The plot of Fury does feel slightly contrived to embody the debate it dramatises and Joe’s act is never fully explained. Nonetheless, it’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking play embracing themes including race relations, radicalism, intergenerational conflict, gender, and the anger and anxiety in today’s isolating society.

The foyer on opening night was buzzing with people discussing what they had just seen.

Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf 1 until June 8