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Slaughterhouse Five (MUST and Theatre Works) ★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts 30 April 2019

Slaughterhouse Five (MUST and Theatre Works) ★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts 30 April 2019

Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time, and while time travel has its drawbacks for the protagonist of Slaughterhouse Five, it may be preferable to being stuck in this interminable adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s famous 1969 novel.

Monash University Student Theatre’s (MUST) adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five was originally staged in 2016 but has been remounted at Theatre Works, presumably to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the novel’s publication. The production is adapted and directed by Fleur Kilpatrick, a prolific Australian playwright who is a lecturer at Monash and last year won the Max Afford Playwrights’ Award. The stage version was born out of Kilpatrick’s love for the novel. It is technically proficient, but her ‘tell don’t show’ approach to adaptation removes the emotional impact that makes the novel so touching and memorable.