Dark Comedy on the Menu at Stirling
STIRLING Theatre (WA) is serving up a West End hit as its first season of 2021.
Written by Moira Buffini and directed by Virginia Moore Price, Dinner dishes out an evening from hell as hostess Paige celebrates the publication and success of her husband’s philosophy book.
Several guests are invited to dine, served by a silent waiter sourced from an obscure website.
When an unexpected guest arrives, he gets trapped in the fun and games and feast of revenge that will inevitably be the undoing of the night’s entertainment.
Dinner premiered at London’s Royal National Theatre in 2002 and is one of many acclaimed plays and films written by Buffini.
“Each course of the dinner has been deliciously calculated in some way to question the philosophical theories created by Paige’s husband,” Moore Price said.
“The invited guests are being used as pawns in Paige’s plans to derail her husband’s achievements.”
The main challenge, according to Moore Price, is the fact the entire show is set around a dinner table.
“I need to add movement that looks natural and keep the audience’s interest,” she said.
“The play is very wordy and touches on subjects that can be difficult to comprehend and are not nice to talk about in civilised conversation.
“The characters are larger than life, so finding the fine line between melodrama and realism is almost non-existent.
“Although Dinner is a dark comedy, it can easily be considered a drama with some hilarious moments.
“It’s my responsibility to direct the show as truly as possible to the writer’s intent.”
With an advance diploma in lighting for theatre from the WA Academy of Performing Arts, Moore Price has been lighting Perth venues for several years.
Two years ago she stepped up to the stage and has since appeared with KADS, Melville, Garrick and Stirling Theatres in productions such as Accidental Death of An Anarchist, Sense and Sensibility, Beyond A Joke and ’Allo ’Allo, also directing Hard Candy in Darwin.
“I decided to direct Dinner because the wording and pace is extremely thoughtful and funny,” Moore Price said.
“It touched on many subject matters including suicide, marital relationships, the perception of nihilism and one’s mortality.”
Dinner plays at 8pm February 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 with 2pm matinees February 7 and 14. Tickets are $22, $20 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BMAMF.
Please note: the play contains adult themes and some coarse language.
Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.