Melbourne playwright Ross Mueller takes a knife to contemporary office politics and bureaucracy with his new work, A Strategic Plan. Under the tagline “failure is not on the whiteboard”, the play follows Andrew, a former rock musician, as he sinks into, then begins drowning in, the bureaucratic swamp of running STACCATO, a youth music oufit.
Justin Smith’s Andrew doesn’t have full Dude status, but there is something distinctly Lebowskian about him. The board smells blood immediately and begin a hellish barrage of acronyms, forms, legislation and snide remarks. A Strategic Plan promises a masterclass in how to kill a dream in the 21st century.
The play is, on the surface, a comedy. But director Chris Mead says it would be a mistake to write it off as a ‘funny play’. “There are great jokes in there but there’s also a deeper emotional truth inside the play which is about how brave you’re going to be to live the life you want to live.”