HUGO Weaving has been too busy establishing himself as an iconic screen figure for the best past of two decades to tread the Melbourne boards – until now.
But that’s all about to change on Thursday, when the home-grown star of such blockbusters as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and the Matrix trilogy joins his three co-stars for sparkling satire.
God of Carnage, the Yasmin Reza play shows what happens when two sets of well-mannered parents meet up to discuss their young sons’ playground tussle.
Amid the tinkling of teacups and a fast-depleting drinks cabinet, it becomes obvious these adults have a few behavioural issues themselves, raising many questions as Weaving points out.
"Are we animals or civilised? How are we meant to bring up children, how do we learn? And how do you live? There are all these questions under the humour. I’m not sure we’ve got many answers."
As a seasoned big-screen veteran, Weaving is enjoying the "intimacy of this production, working with four lovely people, and getting all that energy between the audience and the cast, in real time".
This compares favourably with his description of working on a big budget Hollywood movie: "months of sitting around, loads of preparation and then very little on film. Trying not to sit in my trailer. So the difference is all in the energy. It’s terrific."
God of Carnage is at the State Theatre from Thursday 3 September.
Tickets from Box Office 03 8688 0800, Ticketmaster 1300 723 038 or mtc.com.au