A satirical dissection of the angry white man
By Samuel Barson
An angry white man has a tantrum about how difficult it is being a white man. No, this is not parliamentary question time, this is Ben Grant’s electropera The Rug.
With a running time of just 45 minutes, The Rug is a feverish and hysterical satire on the so-called ‘plight’ of the modern white man.
Ben Grant, a white male himself, does a respectful job with the commentary he makes on his own demographic. He is self-aware and has clearly done much research on Australia’s current situation, as well as its history of racial prejudice. It took some time to get used to his performance style, but once comfortable with what he was doing, it was a solid and clever solo performance.
Herbz’s production design and Paul Lim’s lighting design were exuberant, unpredictable and strangely glamorous. The dramatic design complimented the over-dramatic white man who was whining and prancing around the stage.
Rah Creation’s set design was kindly simple, allowing the attention to be on Grant’s performance, while still serving his choreography when necessary.
The Rug is certainly not your typical piece of theatre, but rather a greatly refreshing one. It was exciting to see regularly visited themes like privilege tackled in such an irregular and entertaining way. A must see for lovers of the absurd.
The Rug is being performed at La Mama Courthouse 31 October – 11 November. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office on 03 9347 6142.
Photograph: Pier Carthew