Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: American Psycho

Photo: Daniel Boud

American Psycho, just starting its popular second Sydney season, is already enjoying whispers about strong ticket sales for its return, this time at the Sydney Opera House.

American Psycho seems a bit of a contradiction with its timely and reoccurring message about excess and toxic masculinity but its lack of any great songs (besides a teasing smattering of recognisable 80s hooks) leaves the audience wanting… something.

Maybe a Panadol?

Just because of the stage behaviour, which continually forces your pupils to readjust due to the interesting design aspects of the set – no spoilers here but suffice to say that smoke and mirrors will keep your eyes working to take it all in.

The clever use of plastic curtain panels enclosing the stage gives the impression of being in a cold space, with the way the stage behaves – forcing lighting to reflect off various surfaces, creating interesting effects which add to the general frenzied and murderous tone of the piece.

The cast is strong on acting and accents, and comic timing is spot on for everyone, including the psycho himself, played by Ben Gerrard.

Gerrard, who sat down with the City Hub at the beginning of his process to get prepared for the role, gave a stirring performance with a lot of light and shade – that shade quickly led us to some dark places.

The way he tackled tricky aspects of his portrayal sometimes had audience members squirming, a fitting reaction to some of the characters questionable actions.

Despite the brutality of the subject matter, its pithy commentary elicits quite a few laughs from the audience, with the majority being gobbled up by Erin Clare, playing the psycho’s girlfriend’s best friend – Clare’s talent to garner laughs from a one-word line and a curl of her lip follows her from show to show.

The vocal standout for this show is definitely Angelique Cassimatis – her character of the put upon assistant and her desperate need for attention from the boss leads this performer to some heartfelt and beautifully poignant moments.

Even with all of this accomplished talent, there were just no songs that make you want to go home and play the cast recording to, well death.

Definitely do catch American Psycho for some good and splattery fun at The Playhouse at the Sydney Opera House.

Until Jun 27. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $45-$99+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Review by Linc Jenkin

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