Reviewed by Tatum Stafford
After a smash-hit season at last year’s Adelaide Fringe, DIRT arrived for its Perth Fringe World debut this year. And, as I’m sure those in the audience of one of their performances so far would agree, us Perthians are very fortunate to have such a high-quality show gracing our festival line-up this year.
Before entering the performance space at all, the teaser for this show is incredibly intriguing. “Set over the course of a single night, two strangers meet, drink, and party in modern-day Moscow. Both need something from the other, both have something to hide.” A sparse set featuring a makeshift bed and a bar cart set the scene, and throughout the hour-long performance, two phenomenal, expert actors weave through the intricacies of this fascinating story with captivating skill.
As the lights dim, we meet a tourist from Tasmania who asks his Russian tour guide out for a drink. Their chemistry is instantly palpable, and without giving too much away, the pair navigate moments of extreme tension, fear, and lust as their night unfolds.
Playwright Angus Cameron has a masterpiece on his hands with DIRT. It’s complex, heartbreaking and unfortunately relatable for so many in the LGBTQI+ community. Director Bronwen Coleman has done a fantastic job at presenting this layered piece in such a confined space – which gives me hope that many other cities across Australia and the world will have the chance to see this important work.
Stars Wil King and Patrick Livesey are formidable, and are both given chances to display their incredible talents at various moments throughout the play. They work so superbly together that it does seem like a creative match made in heaven between them as performers. Big props to Patrick for his unwavering and incredibly convincing Russian accent throughout.
$1 for every ticket sold this Perth Fringe season goes towards the Russian LGBT Network, and the Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives. If you get a chance to see this play, you’ll understand why this kind of support is so crucial. A big congratulations and thank you to everyone involved in this thought-provoking and powerful production – I’d urge you to buy a ticket before it closes.