Three couples travel on the Queen Mary II seeking luxury escape. Instead, they find themselves confronted by a series of tensions – marital, sexual and cultural – which erupt when they all sit down for dinner. As the cruise progresses, these begin to unravel the foundation of each marriage.
Written and directed by Australia’s most celebrated playwright, David Williamson, the script is sharp and peppered with ironic one-liners and puns. In addition, there is a synergy between story and performance, creating a rhythm that makes the play absorbing and hilarious. This is helped by convincing performances from a superb cast, such as Peter Phelps as Darren, the brutish Australian and Kate Fitzpatrick as Silky the no-nonsense New Yorker. They deliver their lines with impeccable timing and tone.
Perhaps one fault is the staging of the dinner table. When seated some actors are turned away from the audience, but in a nutshell, Cruise Control is one of the best plays onstage in years. (MP)
Until Jun 30, Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli. $30-69, (02) 9929 0644, ensemble.com.au