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Lunch With Bernays

Theatre, Comedy Kings Cross Hotel , Potts Point Monday June 21 2021 - Thursday June 24 2021
A man wearing a Statue of Liberty crown holds a cigarette
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

In this era of fake news, we're intrigued by this knotty tale of the father of spin

When it comes to the dark art of spin, Edward L Bernays is an intriguingly complex figure. He's dubbed the father of PR, but others see him as a pusher of propaganda. He infamously sold cigarettes as a feminist force under the tagline ‘Torches of Freedom’ and was involved in a covert CIA operation that toppled democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz in favour of Carlos Castillo Armas’ dictatorship via a murky campaign for the United Fruit Company. In other words, his dubious life story is ripe for the picking.

And that’s exactly what Sydney-based indie theatre group 180 Collective have done with new work Lunch With Bernays. Written by Bryce Bofinger and directed by Samira Spring, it will play at Kings Cross Theatre’s Bordelllo Room from June 21 to 24. It presents an expressionistic exploration of his troubling legacy, hung on an interview for a book by feminist scholar Susan Henry’s new book.

It’s during this chat that figures from his past, including rebellious daughter Anne, his little-known uncle Sigmund Freud, several US presidents, and a fascist propagandist return to haunt him. Each has their own view of how the show and his story should be told. And it’s about time he faced the consequences of his action. As he said himself, “We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of...”

It stars Pat Mandziy, Alana Louise, Natasha Cheng, Luke Visentin and Alexandra Rigby, cand consider us intrigued by how Lunch With Bernays plays out. And at only $25 a ticket, it sounds like the perfect night out. We’re sure that’s how Bernays would sell it, anyway.

By: Stephen A Russell



Venue name: Kings Cross Hotel
Address: 244-248 William St
Kings Cross
Price: $25

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