Wrath

Wrath
By Liam Maguire. Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre Company. King Cross Theatre, Sydney. Directed by Liam Maguire. 26 February – 18 May, 2019.

For their three-month takeover of the Kings Cross Theatre, beginning with Wrath, JackRabbit Theatre has changed its name to Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre. This is the first of five promised productions, all around 60 minutes, and all aimed at “people who are bored with Sydney’s nightlife and have been looking for something to do”. Don’t know what the round-the-corner theatre folk at the Stables or the Old Fitz think about that, or indeed the many previous visitors to this oddly satisfying traverse space.

Wrath is a speedy, indeed lightning-paced, 6-hander about the high-stakes business world, about the powers that influence us all. Though we never discover what actual business is involved, when newcomer Henry (Adam Sollis) joins the firm he’s got no idea what’s in store for him. The bickering and backstabbing between all members of the firm, under dread CEO Ms. Stockwood (Madeleine Vizard), is set to the highest level, and Henry soon finds himself overwhelmed.

“This is not a jungle,” says Ms. Stockwood in a fleeting moment of normality, but then she finds a single pubic hair on an office phone and major irrationality descends. Daphne (Elle Mickel) and Eric (Jonny Hawkins) swear blind it doesn’t come from them, and Rick (Amy Hack in a fine gender-bending performance) is equally passionate. Soon the boss has everyone running in circles right through the night, before her boss appears.

Wrath is directed to the last jot and nerve by its author Liam Maguire. At every moment the cast know exactly what is required of them and deliver in spades. They rip up the all-red set, designed by Anastassia Poppenberg, and scatter it energetically about. 

There’s some expert lighting by John Collopy and brilliant, if repetitive, sound by Sam Maguire.

Frank Hatherley

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