“I’d rather throw myself off Jacob’s ladder!” was not part of my vocabulary when I saw a Fringe show on Sunday the 19th of January.
Death in the Golden Triangle is PAAS’s (Performing Arts Alumni Society) latest original theatre play, shown as part of Perth’s 2020 FRINGE WORLD Festival, at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den. Written by Dylan and Courtney Lee, it’s a quick-witted dark comedy about power and ambition, where the characters literally describe death as an “opportunity.” It follows an influential family called the Kenklemonts, who are thrown into chaos after one of their family members dies suddenly.
Maybe you even had the opportunity to meet one of the “GT” members, as they often reside in St George’s College driving BMWs. If you’re super keen to see what they look like, just swing past Claremont Quarter.
The play is about the political and personal chaos that ensures after the early demise of Peter Kenklemont, who is a Liberal Party member in the House of Representatives. Everyone wants a piece of Peter’s power, and they’re all after his seat before his body has even turned cold.
The main players are his intelligent and calculative wife, Diana; an ambitious newcomer and Diana’s not-so-secret lover, Wily Parker; and old-time rival, Barry Fingers. The sympathetic characters of Myles Kenklemont (son of Diana and Peter) and Dame Margaret Elizabeth (Peter’s mother) give the story humour and warmth – they tug at the audience’s heartstrings. It shines an important light on how far one should aim for power, and how lives and loved ones are screwed-over in this process.
The acting from the whole cast was incredible. Kate Elder, who portrayed Diana, displayed an excellent icy interpretation of a person hardened and misled by ambition (“I’m fifty-three and refuse to play a mediocre role in someone else’s success again”). Myles, played by Matthew Jones, performed emotionally-charged scenes, which he handled skilfully.
The directing was fantastic! The blocking used for scenes based in the living room ensured the audience could see all the action, especially the tense punch-ups. Differential lighting to show the scenes happening inside the house, versus dark scenes involving the characters viewing the media, were executed smoothly.
I highly recommend seeing this show, especially if you like Aussie humour, and have some background knowledge in politics. Or, if you need a reminder of the coldness and cruelty often required to get ahead in a competitive environment.
Death in the Golden Triangle runs until 27th of January and you can buy tickets here.
4 out of 5 Linneys pearls.
Cassie is a tea addict who likes to think about going to the gym.
Image Courtesy of FRINGE WORLD Festival.
Woodside Petroleum is a principal sponsor of FRINGE WORLD Festival. Pelican has been a long-time supporter of the Festival, and will continue to show its support. However, the Magazine feels it is unethical for Woodside Petroleum to remain a principal sponsor of FRINGE WORLD, given the current climate emergency, and Woodside’s ongoing contribution to climate change.
Other Festivals have demonstrated that ethical sources of funding are possible – you can read more, and sign the petition, here: https://www.change.org/p/fringeworld-side-with-the-climate-and-drop-woodside-petroleum // #fossilfreefringe #fossilfreearts // Arts and Cultural Workers for Climate Action