University of Adelaide Theatre Guild
The Little Theatre
Until 18 Aug 2018

Review by Fran Edwards

First performed in 2000, “The Goat” is one of Edwards Albee’s best plays and this production, directed by Matt Houston, more than does it justice.

The suburban set is a perfect setting for the typical American family ripe for Albee’s brand of tragedy. What is the tragic flaw that causes the demise of this well-balanced, happy family? The man falls in love with a goat. But far from being story about bestiality (though it does discuss this), it asks deeper questions. What is love or lust, and does society have sexual morality or just hypocrisy?

Gary George, as Martin the husband, is well paired with Rachel Burfield who plays wife Stevie. They handle the wry asides and cope well with Albee’s witty wordplay and turn laughing sarcasm to spite when thing become more heated. Peter Davies as best friend Ross is meant to be the keeper of the secret that Martin has to confess but proves to be the undoing of all. Davies convinces as a friend a little too eager to uncover his comrade’s faults. He inserts his morality with little or no thought for consequences.

As the teenaged gay son, Billy, Benjamin Quirk is confused and conflicted. Quirk deals well with Billy’s protected feelings towards his mother and his disbelief of his father’s actions.

The conflict scene is well handled, if a little hard on the pottery, and Burfield’s performance is a standout. She is desperate, angry and controlled all at the same time.

This production will have you laughing in unusual places – not necessarily big laughs, but enough to qualify as a comedy with a strange storyline.