Review: The Young Tycoons

The Young Tycoons first played at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s previous space, at Greenknowe Avenue, in September 2005, and enjoyed a sold-out return season in February 2006. Now returning to the fabulous Eternity Theatre the play feels just as relevant as it did during its original run.

Written by CJ Johnson and directed by Michael Piggot, the story follows the rise of two sons, both absurdly wealthy, influential and following in the footsteps of their media mogul fathers. Although the characters are fictitious, it was not long before the Sydney audience familiarised itself with the real life drama these characters and their families are based on.

Andrew Cutcliffe and Gabrielle Scawthorn in The Young Tycoons Photo: Noni Carroll

This scathing look into the lives and times of two empire building families is as satirical as it is brutally honest.  There are many very funny moments including a fight scene that today is particularly relevant. Set in 2003, this piece beautifully parodies situations that have already played out within the families on which the play is based.

The set, constructed almost entirely of raw plywood, suffocates the stage and was uninspiring and purposefully flat alongside such colourful characters.  The entire piece is filled, from beginning to end, with short scenes and what feels like hundreds of entrances. The players enter stage in and out of doors so continually it becomes distracting, feeling more like a farce than a parody.

The standard of performance, however, is solid throughout.  Edmond Lembke-Hogan (Kim Vogler) and Andrew Cutcliffe (Trevor Warburton) both give strong performances as rival tycoons and were dished out the best scenes from the writer.

Overall, The Young Tycoons is an entertaining night at the theatre, one which will ring true to most Sydneysiders – Back to the Future Point Piper. The Young Tycoons is playing at the Eternity Playhouse until June 15. To book visit or call 02 8356 9987.

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