Review: After Dinner

Words by Freya Langley


I went to the theatre and was sent into an introspective tailspin about all of my neurotic “quirks” (read, obsessions). It was hilarious and humbling, and I’ve since been in a near-catatonic state of painful and rigorous self-reflection.  I might even consider trying fruit with savoury food (and maybe “chilling out” a bit).

The State Theatre Company’s production of Australian playwright, Andrew Bovell’s 1988 play, ‘After Dinner’ explores themes of grief, loss, regret and loneliness through a uniquely Australian dark humour. Taking place in the eighties Australian dream set - a pub bistro - five lonely hearts (one wearing “bone” coloured tights) meet in a comedy of errors.

On the surface, it’s light-hearted and quirky, but read deeper and it’s dark and harrowing – think iconic Australian eighties favourites, Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It’s VERY eighties and painfully relatable – we all know someone as neurotic, as highly strung, as insecure, as fragile as each of the characters. It's the kind of play you take your mum to – and watch her cringe at the kitsch of the eighties.

Under the direction of Corey McMahon, After Dinner is delightfully dorky, heart-warming and poignant.

'After Dinner' is playing at the Dunstan Playhouse from 11 April until 29 April. Tickets and times via State Theatre Company.