Printable CopyKING IN EXILE
Holden Street Theatres
Until 22 Feb 2015

Review by Jamie Wright

Bradley Klendo's "King in Exile" is about a lot of things – alienation, anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, refugees, love, fear, religion, writer’s block, the nature of art; the list goes on – but begins mostly focused on the titular King, whose name is King (no, really) and who is a refugee alien (albeit one who looks like a white male) forced to live on Earth, which he's more than a little unhappy about.

There's also King's antagonist, Antagonist; an Arab (named, you guessed it, 'Arab'); Jacqueline, a dominatrix; Rob, her submissive husband; three cannibalistic Macbethian witches; and Playwright and his wife.

It's that sort of show. But it's one that works; directed by Vlady T the performances – particularly Thomas Kay as King, Sahil Saluja as Arab and Lisa Dallinger as several characters – are good and the script is witty, incisive and appropriately madcap, but without too much of it (for the most part; the witches sometimes border on this) seeming thrown in for the sake of effect.

The combination of the performances, the absurdist humour and the themes both poignant and relevant – particularly the concepts of fair treatment of refugees by society – makes it solidly entertaining and thought-provoking.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)