Review: Masterclass

Malthouse Theatre
Until 17 June

By Alex First

Oh my. What a breakout, beguiling, absurdist, slapstick comedy Masterclass is.

It is a deliberately pointed slight at male arrogance and entitlement.

A pretentious interviewer (Feidlim Cannon) conducts an at first fawning interview with a heralded esoteric playwright and director (Adrienne Truscott).

Their dress sense and wigged and mustachioed personas are as outlandish as the interplay between the pair.

Truscott has premiered a work that pits man against woman.

It has resulted in mayhem, with the sexes at loggerheads.

Masterclass masterfully manipulates the traditional practice of interviewers and interviewees, turning the age-old practice on its head.

Physical and verbal humour collide, as the interviewee challenges the interviewer.

Complete with music and dramatic sound effects, Truscott proceeds down the path of “educating” Cannon as to why white male artists are no longer needed.

While Cannon isn’t sold, in time he comes to understand Truscott’s perspective.

Still, when push comes to shove, Cannon refuses to leave the stage.

Photos by Ste Murray
From left, Adrienne Murray and Feidlim Cannon in the hilarious Masterclass

Masterclass is heady, hilarious and heartwarming. It is parody of the highest order, which pricks privilege and power.

Much of the interaction between the protagonists leaves the audience in stitches.

In real life, Truscott is a choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, storyteller and comedian.

She has been creating genre-straddling work in New York City and abroad for more than 20 years.

This show has been put together by Truscott and Dublin-based, internationally renowned theatre company Brokentalkers.

Its co-artistic directors are Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan.

While the pair defy categorisation with their work, it is unashamedly ambitious and fearless.

That is evident in spades in the deliciously provocative Masterclass, which is playing at Malthouse Theatre as part of RISING until 17th June, 2023.

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About the Author

Alex First believes all people have a story to tell, if only a good playwright can prize it out of them. Alex has a natural curiosity about the world and believes a strong narrative, or narrative with music, can open the door to subjects about which he knows little.

Like his parents before him, theatre is his passion – a passion with emotional resonance, one that moves and excites him. He brings decades’ experience as an arts’ connoisseur to his role as a critic.

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