Arts & Entertainment

THEATRE: ADDRESS UNKNOWN

Through an exchange of letters across the Atlantic and preceding WWII, this play of two friends explores notions of human morality during what was a critical time in our world’s history. Betrayals amongst close friends are often forgivable – Address Unknown tells the story of one that is not. When first published in 1938, Katherine Kressman Taylor’s novella prophesied the torment and horror that was to come from the National Socialists rise to power in Germany. Adapted for the stage, business associates Max Eisenstein (John O’Hare), a German-Jew, and Martin Schulse (Patrick Dickson), a German-born Aryan, have established a gallery in San Francisco when Martin decides to return to Germany with his family to capitalise on the growing economy and enjoy the beginnings of a fine political freedom. Told through the exchange of letters between Max and Martin across the Atlantic, their initial light-hearted tone turns to mistrust and then fear as Max asks of the circulating rumours of Jew’s being beaten and mistreated. Martin replies “a few must suffer for the millions to be saved” and the ideological divide that has grown between them becomes apparent. As Martin pleas for Max to stop writing him, Max employs his letters as his weapon. The content and plot of this drama are intriguing, and some 70 years later, still has the power to ask its audience to consider the essence of their moral fibre.

Oct 14-Nov 7, Seymour Theatre Centre, cnr City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale, $20-38, 9351 7940 or seymourcentre.com.au

BY NELL GRECO