Printable CopyTHE KING
Red Phoenix Theatre
Holden Street Theatres
Until 15 Mar 2020

Review by Jamie Wright

Red Phoenix Theatre’s mandate is to stage plays that have never before been performed in Adelaide; this time they’re going even further and staging one that’s never before been performed anywhere – ‘The King’, by SA playwright Jimmy Lyons.

Roger (Nigel Tripodi) is only window-shopping at the BBQ store; the salesman, Hank (Michael Eustice) has other ideas – and is not beyond blatant emotional manipulation to make sure he makes the sale once Roger cites his wife’s likely disapproval as a motivating factor. But Hank’s silver tongue and Roger’s underlying feelings of inadequacy combine to ensure that Roger takes home the overpriced grill – and to say his wife Melissa (Sharon Malujlo) is far from impressed would be an understatement.

While the story relies a bit on some outdated ideas, it’s balanced out by some exceptionally well-written dialogue (though I think I stopped counting the references to testicles once the number hit double figures) and great performances from all three actors – overseen by Adrian Barnes’ excellent direction. It belts along at a good pace and at around fifty minutes is the perfect length for this kind of material.

Outrageous, old school adult fun.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)