The Ugly One is a funny and darkly absurd tale about the highs and lows of plastic surgery and the undercurrent of narcissism that runs through modern society.
Lette is beyond ugly but is under the misconception that he is perfectly normal until his boss, Scheffler, stops him from launching his clever invention at a prestigious sales conference. Instead Scheffler opts for Lette’s much more attractive assistant, Karlmann, to do the honours.
This propels Lette to transform himself through extreme plastic surgery, resulting in a complete facial reconstruction and instantly he becomes a God – women want him and men want to be him.
Director Sarah Giles is very clever in her treatment of this text, chosing the best path: simplicity. It is a sparse blackbox set, with no props except for a couple of oranges and relies completely on the technique and talent of the actors.
Written by Marius Von Mayenburg the text is full of black and twisted humour with a touch of German sensibility. And with reality TV shows such as Extreme Makeover commonplace it’s a fair comment on what has become a societal norm and the lengths that people will go to in order to be accepted.
The cast are like a well oiled machine – running in synch. Eden Falk as Lette is a standout and the perfect mix of humility, pomposity and disassociation.
The Ugly One which runs at around an hour isn’t so ugly, it’s rather perfect.
Until Dec 17, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $26-30, 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au