Griffin Theatre’s latest offering is urgent, hilarious and uncomfortably close to reality.
The staging is immediately tremendous and imposing, jutting into the unreserved audience seating. A bejewelled Roomba patiently perambulates about the clinically white stage as the audience files in.
The Turquoise Elephant takes place inside the triple-glazed luxury compound where the outspoken and restless Basra lives with her grandmother, the formidable matriarch Augusta Macquarie (elite socialite, patron of the arts, fossil fuels advocate) and Augusta’s sister Olympia (a tragedy tourist who travels the world spectating environmental disasters, only eats endangered animals).
Basra is exasperated by the ignorance of the powers that be, she is determined to save the world one blog at a time. Meanwhile, a radical environmentalist artist group would rather take more drastic methods to save the planet.
The Turquoise Elephant is like Absolutely Fabulous meets The Hunger Games in a post-green-movement Sydney on the brink of apocalypse.
The actors are all a joy to watch as they lose themselves in the bizarreness of their characters, hurling insults and reason back and forth, the more outlandish characters parading in and out in an interchangeable array of clownish high-fashion costumes.
The urgency and momentum of the unfolding events make this play relentlessly entertaining, the small stage area and single set become anything but hindrances.
The agenda may feel a touch on the nose at first, however everything soon blends nicely into the marvellous absurdum of the play. An impeccable work of contemporary theatre. (AM)
Until Nov 26 (Mon-Fri 7pm, Sat 2pm + 7pm, additional matiness). SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross. $35-$55. Tickets & info: www.griffintheatre.com.au