In the world of theatre, ordinarily a couple of curse words slip by in the script, calling for a subtle warning in the program that “some course language might offend”. As for the slew of swear words that feature in The Motherf**ker With The Hat – let alone the scenes depicting drug use and occasional full (back) nudity – this production would need an entire billboard to announce all its warnings.
But we here at Cream are no uptight bunch and we cope just fine, thank you very much, with scenes of drug-taking, debauchery and dirty, dirty language. Besides, the storyline of renowned playwright Adly Guirgis’ The Motherf**ker With The Hat runs at such a rampant pace, you’ve practically forgotten the coke-snorting and ass-revealing mini-scenes that pepper the show.
Indeed, the play kickstarts with such speedy dialogue delivery, it’s impossible from the get-go not to stay avidly tuned in, blocking out the naughty bits to hone in on the heady narrative. The story centres around Jackie (delivered sexily by WAAPA graduate Austin Castiglione) – an ex-convict on parole who comes home to boast about his new job to his girlfriend Veronica (the brilliant and relentless Rhoda Lopez) only to find that a strange hat is in the apartment that looks like it belongs to some other “motherfucker” in the building. As it turns out, Veronica’s alternate object of desire is closer to home than Jackie thinks…
Things get decidedly crazy in this rollercoaster comedy of errors when soon enough affairs begin to criss-cross and eventually all hell breaks loose.
The Motherf**ker With The Hat is a highlight of the Perth Fringe World Festival yet even with all its cursing and illicit substance abuse, the play oughtn’t remain confined to the outskirts of fringe for much longer. In fact, it’d make an excellent Hollywood production and we wouldn’t be surprised if a version of it appears on the big screen sooner than later – with a couple of imperative asterisks in its title, of course!
A festival must – make sure you see it.
The Black Swan Theatre Company presents The Motherf**ker With The Hat at the State Theatre of WA, corner of William and Roe Streets, Northbridge until February 3rd. Tickets available through Ticketek here.
Cast stage photography by Gary Marsh. Poster photography by Robert Firth.