Review by Laura Money
Perth writer/director Katy Warner returns home with her brilliant piece, A Prudent Man. In a bid to understand the meaning behind the rhetoric of the right, conservative views are stripped back to reveal the conviction that One Nation, Liberal, Tory and Republican voters have in their leader’s words. If those views are part of a person’s core values, how can they claim to be compassionate, kind, and indeed, prudent.
Lyall Brooks is the prudent man – a well-dressed, clean-cut man with a suit and a dazzling smile – he is the conservative’s ‘everyman’ spouting words and rhetoric familiar to most Australian voters. He sits, comfortably in a chair and talks to the audience in a jovial manner, eyes sparkling with a sense of fun. The Man is retelling a story, recounting events that happened to him, beginning with his morning jog. It’s witty at first. His eyes dance under the bright lights, amused as the audience pick up on some of the familiarities of his words. (Wearing a green and gold tracksuit for a morning constitutional, being proud of his two girls – his princesses, claiming everyone deserves a fair go.)
Warner’s script is whip-smart. She weaves the non-content worthy speeches of many right-wing politicians with their extreme views on refugees, women, jobs, class, and everything in-between. Running through the play is a sinister thread that highlights the lack of empathy the Man appears to have for others. His defensive tone when describing the pyramid and that ‘someone has to collect the rubbish’ is almost pleading, Brooks implores the audience to understand his point of view.
In a play that’s motivation is to seek answers, there is a surprising lack of conclusion. I feel as though I am even more confused and outraged by the views of the right than ever. Warner’s play creates a lack of transparency from only the words of the real politicians – we all know how murky the waters are around them. At the end of the day, it’s about jobs, it’s about growth, and it’s about giving everyone a fair go – but only if you’re A Prudent Man.
When: 1st – 6th February 2017 | 7:30pm
Where: The Shambles | Fringe Central | PERTH
Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 18+
About Laura Money
Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!
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