The Fury is a devised piece inspired by The Visit performed by Melbourne University students and it certainly contains all the angst, anger, humour and energy of such a group.
As we walk into the theatre we are all offered a generous dollop of anti bacterial gel and I do love a bit of audience participation. The gel is a telling symbol. We sit down to watch a small group of actors- all in bright beige and white on the other end of an invisible interviewer. Each actor is very committed. The scene is as clean and organised as the actors are precise and solid on their characters. These first few scenes are hilarious and the premise is cleverly revealed to us. We are in a small town where everyone works in the local plastics factory and paranoia is rife.
Next we have a staff meeting, and it’s all very clinical and amusing, when suddenly the band starts up in a startling and stark contrast to the polite gathering. Darkly dressed, face painted band members and groupies thrust forward and molest the scene. A man in a gimp mask, chains and studs crawls and thrashes around the stage as the plastics factory workers cower.
From here we watch the demise of the town due to the arrival of singer Claire and her band and misfits. The painfully polite townsfolk are led astray. Cigarettes start lighting up, people are seduced, bribed, pills popped and orgies had. I love a good sound scape and the orgie soundscape was pretty entertaining. Especially with the added comedy of watching fiancé Alfred trying to figure out whether he can hear his fiancé in said soundscape.
“You will live my nightmare until you can dream for yourself” says Claire. The band is playing a haunting and psychedelic piece. The cast twist and fight in an impressive and symbolic physical montage where we see just how much the townsfolk have digressed. Then the stage fades to black, a spark appears and as the lights slowly fade up Claire is revealed lighting her cigarette.
The Fury was very much a group-devised piece and I could tell it was a great process for the students. Their commitment was phenomenal but the plot was very weak. Various plot devices were set up and thrown away with no justification including the random use of the interviewer who disappears and is never explained. Also the unnecessary ipad that is used for monologues and it’s images projected on a TV mounted centre stage. The Fury is a dark and eclectic piece with some stand out comic actors.