An Ideal Husband
18 July – 6 August 2022
Roundhouse Theatre, Kelvin Grove
Political scandal and ‘90s pop culture are set to combine in Lewis Treston’s modern adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband.
Set in the hallowed halls of Canberra’s House of Representatives in the mid-1990s, the reworked classic dabbles in political corruption, hypocrisy, blackmail, and scandal while also posing age-old questions about love, loyalty, and the value of relationships.
“I put Australian politics into a blender and extracted the bits I thought would be funny,” said Brisbane playwright Treston. “That shift from Keating to Howard, from a progressive to a conservative government struck me as a historical transition point in Australia’s history and setting the play in this era makes it more relevant than a turn of the century melodrama.”
“It’s in no way historically accurate and while some bits are recognisable, relatable and have resonance today, I’ve had a lot of fun making things up. This play is a fantastical take and a queer reimagining of ’90 Australian politics. I’ve taken recognisable political archetypes and used them and while the characters are not real people, there’s definitely a wink and a nudge to who they might be based on.”
Director Bridget Boyle, a self-confessed political junkie and ‘90s tragic, says An Ideal Husband is a fast-moving play that’s “part sitcom and part French farce” laced with references from Seinfeld to Clueless, all set to a classic 90’s soundtrack.
“There’s a sense of distance and fantasy to the play, it presents a version of life that is far from Utopia and that’s the joy! This idea of “ideal” is blown apart – there’s no such thing as ideal, we’re all flawed, we’re all human and that’s OK,” Boyle said. “It’s a fab, fizzy night of entertainment with some virtuosic comic turns and a beautiful undertone that asks questions about the nature of love, marriage, compromise and politics because, at its heart, it’s all about relationships. And there’s at least one dance routine to a ‘90s banger!”
The cast of An Ideal Husband will include Emily Burton, Christen O’Leary, Will Carseldine, Billy Fogarty, Patrick Jhanur, Kevin Spink, Hsiao-Ling Tang and Kevin Hides.