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Strata Inc. by North of Eight - Review

Home > Melbourne > Theatre Reviews | Theatre | Performing Arts | Comedy
by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
Corporate greed faces a feminist utopia in comedic play
Fall down the rabbit hole and see Strata Inc. by North of Eight at The Burrow in Fitzroy, on now until 8 December. Book your tickets here.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Jessica Stanley as Lysa Strata - photo by Sarah Clarke Photography


Created by Laura Lethlean and Faran Martin, this work contemporises the Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes into the modern day context of corporate greed symbolised by Strata Inc.

Andrew Strata (Jordan Fraser-Trumble) returns to his deceased father's office (Frank Strata) to be inaugurated by the board into the role of CEO of Strata Inc. He and his wife, Angie (Jessica Martin), contemplate what this windfall inheritance will mean for their lives.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Angie (Jessica Martin), Dave (Pat Moonie), Barry (Mark Salvestro) and Rachel (Phoebe Ann Taylor) - photo courtesy of Sarah Clarke Photography


As Angie tries to prepare Andrew for the inauguration, they are interrupted by the cleaner, Mariella (Siobhan Connors), hiding in another room. Rachel (Phoebe Anne Taylor), a loyal staff member of 14 years, arrives to pay tribute to Frank Strata, closely followed by client fund managers Dave (Pat Moonie) and Barry (Mark Salvestro), who arrive drunk from Mr Strata's funeral wake, ready to party.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Andrew Strata (Jordan Fraser-Trumble) - photo courtesy of Sarah Clarke Photography


Despite being the next male in the family lineage, Andrew Strata is not good with numbers, knows little about his father's empire and is feeling anxious about becoming the CEO of the company and the arrival of The Board to inaugurate him. Andrew believes he is entitled to be CEO, as he received a letter from his father with instructions to find his will in the safe.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Rachel (Phoebe Ann Taylor), Dave (Pat Moonie), Mariella (Siobahn Connors) and Barry (Mark Salvestro) - photo courtesy of Sarah Clarke Photography


As the clock ticks by, Andrew, Dave and Barry continue to descend into inebriation on champagne and Strata Inc. whiskey, and their true natures are revealed. Dave makes several sleazy passes at Mariella and work secrets start to unfold. Rachel tries to maintain respect for the memory of Frank Strata and Angie tries to get Andrew organised amidst the drunken mayhem and her need to express breast milk for her baby son, Harry.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism
Jordan Fraser-Trumble and Jessica Stanley in STRATA Inc


Suddenly, Andrew's long-lost sister, Lysa Strata, arrives ready for The Board meeting. She too believes she is entitled to inherit her father's empire and also received a letter. Lysa's arrival changes the whole dynamic of the evening as this TED Talking, neuro-linguistic programming believer, reveals her radical feminist philosophy to turn the business on its head. Andrew Strata feels threatened and so attempts to open the safe, to retrieve the will, to confirm who is truly entitled to inherit the empire. On his failure to know the code, all hell breaks loose, as Frank Strata's elaborate plan unfolds.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Signage at The Burrow


Produced by Mark Salvestro, Strata Inc. is a hilarious and insightful look at today's society and corporate greed. The story and characters reveal how the human desire for power can obscure reality and cause chaos in the wrong hands.

The Burrow also provides a uniquely intimate theatre experience, where the audience witnesses the action close-up and is endowed with the role of judge and jury.

There are magnificent performances and characterisation by Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Dave Moonie and Jordan Fraser-Trumble as the quintessential 'brat pack'.

The staging, design and choreographing of this comedic work is challenging in this small confined space and is well executed.

Make sure you head quickly to The Burrow to see Strata Inc. for a unique theatrical experience before it closes on 8 December.

STRATA Inc, North of Eight Theatre, NoE, Burrow, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, play, tycoons, empires, feminism, Laura, Lethlean, Faran Martin, Jessica Stanley, Mark Salvestro, Lysistrata, Aristophanes
Enter behind Brunswick Street to The Burrow
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*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
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Why? Breastmilk saves the world when women walk off the job
When: 7.30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday
Where: The Burrow
Cost: Full $28 Concession $22 Preview $15
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