Simple on the surface but actually cunningly complex, “October” is a whodunit with a twist. Under Julian Meyrick’s direction, the world preem production doesn’t show its hand until the penultimate scene. Conceived during the month following the 9/11 attacks (hence the play’s title), “October” was written by Ian Wilding while Donald Rumsfeld’s comment that the world has changed was still ringing in his ears.
Appearing a little unhinged, Dez (Ed Wightman) turns up one evening at the comfortable middle-class home of pilot Tim (Christopher Stollery) and his wife, interior designer Angela (Simone McAulley), newly pregnant after years of trying. Dez claims to be a friend of Angela’s, but she says she’s never met him before, offering him money in the hope he’ll go away.
Soon, Dez starts stalking Angela and Tim, both at home and at work. Alarmed, they hire Dick (Simon Burke), an oddball private eye-cum-hit man. Dick’s prying questions begin to reveal the truth behind the trio’s relationship. In a separate, not wholly unrelated strand, it is revealed that Tim has been under pressure at the airline to explain his poor attitude in an industry under siege. This well-resourced production on Griffin’s tiny diamond-shaped stage benefits from a slick set, strong casting and performances that don’t always play straight. Burke’s menacing private eye, in particular, is one of the more interesting characters to grace the Sydney stage for some time.