Hir review: new play is engaging, entertaining and very funny


Arnold (Igor Sas), Max (Jack Palit), Paige (Toni Scanlon) and Isaac (Will O’Mahney) in Hir.
Arnold (Igor Sas), Max (Jack Palit), Paige (Toni Scanlon) and Isaac (Will O’Mahney) in Hir.

IT’S A brave new post-gender world that Taylor Mac’s play Hir considers.

When Marine Isaac returns home after three years in Afghanistan, it is not a hoped-for welcome he receives but an increasingly tense situation.

Isaac is in a very different kind of war zone.

His father Arnold has had a stroke and is dressed up as a pitiful clown by his vengeful and abused wife Paige and his teenage sister is transitioning into a boy.

Hir pushes the boundaries in a story of revenge, violence, class and gender identity but is engaging, entertaining and mostly very funny, although sometimes in a sad kind of way.

The play is carried by Toni Scanlon in a brilliant performance as the strong but cruel Paige who refuses to clean her cluttered house, more than capably supported by Igor Sas as the pathetic Arnold and Will O’Mahoney as the returning Isaac.

Hir partners Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (upstairs in the Heath Ledger Theatre) in a two-play offering Conversation: The Boys are Back in Town.

WHAT: Hir
WHERE: Studio Underground, State Theatre, Perth
WHEN: Until May 27

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