Committee: Melbourne Fringe

A theatre company is putting on a new play that sounds almost exactly like Hamlet, but does this play meet the needs of its shareholders? Is the play itself worth doing or can it also find a balance between corporate metrics and marketing synergy?

Committee. Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016
Committee. Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016

The concept behind Committee is compelling; it’s a satire on the business of theatre getting in the way of art. In a time when government funding is being cut and corporate sponsorship is essential for mainstage theatre, questions of how art is becoming compromised are vital.

Committee, unfortunately, conflates the big business mentality of the large companies with the ongoing discussion about diversity; the suggestion being that both are onerous impositions on creating new work. This is puzzling.

The play is too long; whatever punch it had in its first 30 minutes is lost over 80 minutes. The actors are energetic and try to pull as much from this backstage farce as they can, but the play itself fails to find focus; the satire isn’t sharp enough and the message is messy.

Review Date:15 September 2016
Presented By:Melbourne Fringe Festival
Venue:La Mama – Faraday St
Closing Date:25 September 2016

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Keith Gow is an internationally-produced playwright, best known for Who Are You Supposed to Be (Edinburgh Fringe 2013, Melbourne Fringe 2014, Adelaide Fringe 2015). He is also co-writer of the upcoming supernatural drama series Sonnigsburg which will air on Channel 31. He blogs about his writing, film and theatre at

Keith has written 48 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

Follow Keith: @keithgow