The Way Things Work – Simply Wicked

Opening night of The Way Things Work at Chapel off Chapel promises a night by night crowded house for the invigorating talents of its two-man cast.

In a powered yet personal appeal Minister Barlow opens the first act: a last ditch effort to sway the Royal Commission on public accountability and a tunnel deal gone awry. It unfolds a series of events that unveil the charisma of personal gain, a chilling gaze at human nature.

In an intimate setting and a crucifixion of democracy, this satire is awash with wit, drama and tension as overalls replace men in suits and prison torpedoes a private construction company. Special concrete: the world is rutted with sleaze.

Multi-award winning director Aidan Fennessy renders the best form of his vision in commandeering a Spartan set and effortless costumes that reek with treachery. Easy props and outfit changes between acts are an integral routine to a bop of animated music.

The three-act performance is reminiscent of the story cycle in the literary world – linked stories that relay subversive ideas without alienating the audience. It mansions stories within a story, narratives paved with recurring themes and events.

Not a whisper in the crowd, just guffaws – collective.

The Victorian premiere of The Way Things Work is affecting, uproarious and continually fascinating. It spotlights the rare talents of ensemble cast member Joe Petruzzi, who belts a number of television and film credits, and guest actor Peter Houghton, who is also an award winning playwright and director.

Curtain call. The house staggers with ovation.

There are not enough bows to satiate the crowd’s awe.

More applause.

With this brand new offering Red Stitch compounds its umpteen years of gripping playlists to an eager throng. The Way Things Work is running until March 5th.


Photos by Teresa Noble