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Off-Off-Broadway Review

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Photo Source: Pip Cowley
Tom MacLachlan's post–Sept. 11 Australian drama opens with a gimmick: two actors in two different places saying similar, overlapping lines in different contexts. Its purpose is baffling, and it doesn't get any clearer when he repeats the device a few scenes later. MacLachlan knows stagecraft and has imagination, but he hasn't organized them into a coherent theatrical statement.

He presents a nation whose young men are being conscripted to help the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan (Australia's was a volunteer army) and invents a terrorist attack on an Aussie ferry (never happened). If he has to construct such a fictional Australia to comment on the real one, isn't that cheating? He also castigates macho-male posturing and bemoans the limited choices women have in the culture, but he hasn't much new to say about either.

Under Zoë Carides' direction, the actors either shout or mumble. For what it's worth, Michael McGlynn's sound design is excellent.
 
 
 
Presented by Kitta Cunningham Productions as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at the Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette St., third floor, NYC. Aug. 25–29. Remaining performances: Fri., Aug. 27, 9:45 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 28, noon; Sun., Aug. 29, 3:30 p.m. (866) 468 7169 or www.fringenyc.org.

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