DIRT – Holden Street – 4K

By Peter Maddern

When a 20 something Australian journalist (Wil King) follows up his similarly aged Russian tour guide (Patrick Livesey) after a museum visit a cat and mouse drama unfurls. At one level, can these lads confess and consummate lives as gays, on the other, what is the real story of homosexual repression in Chechnya that needs to be told?

King’s almost naive innocence in a world where the rules are very different to those at home is very becoming against Livesey’s battle scarred wariness in his homeland. The threat of state sanction in Russia more or less mirrors the risk of getting it wrong and being outed that still pervades gay relationships in Australia.

The creation of various personas to get what each wants adds to the tension, underlining the confusion and fraught nature of moving hooking up to some of relationship no matter the setting.

Both actors do a great job, being comfortable in their roles, no doubt helped by they being real life partners. The spare stage, bar the couch, is cleverly and convincingly used as the chase scurries across the space. Not completely convinced the ending is the best possible but no doubt playwright Angus Cameron agonised over that more than enough.

Another excellent headline act at Holden Street.

Kryztoff Rating    4K

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