Review: The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Troy Harrison and Zoe Trilsbach in a battle of love and betrayal Photo: Kurt Sneddon

Troy Harrison and Zoe Trilsbach in a battle of love and betrayal Photo: Kurt Sneddon

Powerful and passionate, The Motherf**ker with the Hat is back in Sydney for its second season entertaining audiences with its high-octane, obscenity-loaded exploration on love, fidelity and a mysterious hat.

Written by American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Adam Cook, this black comedy–presented by the Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Workhorse Theatre Company– grips the audience from its first musical notes until its very last words.

An intense and clever drama, this production is particularly suited to the intimate Eternity Playhouse, the 126-year-old former church that is now home to the Darlinghurst Theatre.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s profanity-rich but sharp and witty script is the star of this show, aided by very strong performances from the able cast.

Troy Harrison puts in a powerful and emotionally convincing performance as Jackie, freshly out of jail and recovering from his alcohol addiction, but determined to build a new life with a job and his beloved but foul-mouthed girlfriend Veronica (Zoe Trilsbach who manages to be both provocative and vulnerable). But, alas,  Jackie spots another man’s hat in their apartment, and all hell breaks loose. The discovery triggers anger and desire for revenge but somewhere between love, friendship, lies and violence, Jackie finds his way to redemption.

John Atkinson is superbly slimy as Ralph, Jackie’s AA sponsor, with Megan O’Connell particularly impressive in her central scene as his unhappy wife Victoria. Nigel Turner-Carroll is hilarious but somehow comforting as Cousin Julio (aka Van Damm).

This gritty comedy is as full of violent obscenities as a Quentin Tarantino film: “The motherf**ker leaves his hat like the motherf**ker Zorro leaves his Z!” But beyond these harsh words, the clever script interrogates ideas on modern love, loyalty and addictions and invites the audience to identify with, or at least understand, its troubled characters.

Director Adam Cook was delighted to revisit this work: “We had great success with this production last year in the intimate environs of the Tap Gallery, and I am so excited that we’ll have the opportunity to share this story with a much bigger audience at Eternity Playhouse. I can promise you it’s going to be fast-paced, full-blooded and very, very funny.”

Hysterically funny and deeply moving, this play is worth catching before it sells out: you f**king don’t want to miss it.

The Motherf**ker with the Hat will be at the Eternity Playhouse, Burton Street, Darlinghurst, until 19 october 19. For more information call 02 8356 9987 or visit the website.





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