RAW: The Zoo Story – Space – Til 4th June – 4K

Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story is set in 1959 and tells of two men, from quite different social and economic statuses, whose paths meet on a fine Sunday afternoon in New York’s Central Park.

The middle class Peter (Brendan Rock) has back home a couple of children, cats and parakeets along with his wife. The misfit, Jerry (Renato Musolino) has nothing but the scars of a somewhat dysfunctional relationship with a neighbour’s dog. Their chat explodes their worlds.

This is a simple play – one act, one lazing set and two players – but it conveys a myriad of meanings and issues that broach social class and taboos, the contented and safe pretences and hubris of the gainfully and well rewarded employed and those who struggle day by day.

Whatever the strength of its messages were in Eisenhower’s America, they are certainly very much at play today when the elite and their social set insist on observance of their views by the struggling majority who at their core have a more practical view of the world in debates that can include climate change, the global banking system pre GFC to the ‘war on terror’ and even our own Adelaide Oval debate.

Both players do a fine job but Renato Musolino is outstanding, mixing his anger and intelligent discourse with a prevailing sense of the unhinged.

As an educational piece put on by the State Theatre Company, this is perfect; one work that is both easy to view and enjoy but not so readily digested and interpreted. Those that know not of how the other side live will struggle to grasp The Zoo Story’s true relevance but hopefully in the interactions that follow performances many will have worthwhile cause to pause and reflect on the world around us having then been exposed to Albee’s dissection of society.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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