Like the simplest acts of theatre, The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ unfolds upon the very stage in front of us, in something akin to real time. There is no hiding, no wings, no real fourth wall to hide behind; just five people on stage. Initially taking the form of a staged-reading of a new script, ‘Joe’ soon descends into an extended meta-theatrical exercise which will have you questioning the veracity of what you are witnessing. Is it really what it seems?
Written by Zoey Dawson and presented by Melbourne’s MKA: Theatre of New Writing and Griffin Independent, ‘Joe’ is directed by Declan Greene with his trademark verve and a glorious anarchic sense of self-satire. Not so much in his own work as a director and playwright, but within the theatrical landscape as a wider field. After an extended opening address by the director of the staged reading, the reading-proper begins and although it is funny, awkward and satirical, the lines between reality and artifice are irrevocably blurred, and – bravely – even the ending doesn’t provide answers.