Adelaide Fringe

Oleanna – Adelaide Fringe 2011

Presented by Centre for International Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 6 March 2011

Venue: Main Theatre, Higher Ground, 9 Light Square, Adelaide
Season: 12 & 13 March at 2.30pm
All Tix: $23.00
Duration: 1 hour 40 mins
Bookings: FringeTix 1300 FRINGE (374 643) or

The merit of this predictable play is in the acting. Guy Masterson and Joanne Hartstone give powerful performances as unlikeable university professor John and his irritating pupil Carol.

Masterson has reset David Mamet’s 1992 drama in a modern day setting where a male Professor attempts to help a struggling female pupil who goes on to accuse him of sexual harassment. The examination of perception opens the door for an intricate analysis of two viewpoints of the same event, which is lacking in this disappointing script. Instead, the production focuses on a theme of interruption. The duo constantly interrupt each other, the Professor is constantly interrupted by his mobile phone, the duo’s lives are interrupted by the unfolding events and the storytelling is interrupted by two entirely unnecessary intervals. Even the lights flicker on at the start of each Act as though the power supply is being interrupted.

Rather than seeing both sides of an argument we see a desperate student, easily led by the opinion of others, and a privileged Professor, simply trying to do his job as an educator. The dialogue in the first Act sets up the story so blatantly that there is no surprise, no depth, and no twist in the finale.

Emma Lucia’s sharp direction and the talent of the actors can’t compensate for a poor script that mildly entertains without meeting the promise of food for thought.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.

More News

To Top