Smash the Patriarchy
Regional Institute of Performing Arts, at the Civic Playhouse
THIS double bill of plays that showed women more than matching the abilities of dictatorial men was an engaging event that confirmed the talents of graduating Newcastle TAFE theatre and screen students. The plays were directed by acting teacher David Brown, who also adapted the opening work, Women in Parliament, from a play written in 390BC by Greek dramatist Aristophanes.
The story began with four women dressed in husband’s suits and wearing beards rushing to a parliamentary sitting where they plan to introduce legislation giving equal power to women. Three husbands were subsequently seen in their wives’ night attire, wondering what has happened to the women. And things really got lively when they all came together. It was a briskly funny 30-minute piece.
The second half featured Alice in Slasherland, a recent American dark comedy by Quy Nguyen, that had teens at a Halloween party being attacked by real demons. The title character, a girl who is seen in an opening film sequence being hacked by a vicious male, comes back to life at the party and helps those there to fight monsters that increasingly appear. Alice, a nervous nerd called Jack, the boisterous cheerleader Margaret that Jack is attracted to, and a foul-mouthed toy teddy bear, Edgar, that comes to life, lead the battle against the colourful monsters. The show certainly gave the actors many different things to do.