It’s a familiar scenario from theatre, literature, film and real life too, especially since the #MeToo movement shone a spotlight on how powerful men sexually exploit and silence young women. A middle-aged university lecturer and his 19-year-old female student have an affair, which begins almost as inevitably as it ends. It’s familiar, inevitable and even funny at times, because the lecturer – who is also a renowned author – seems to control the narrative in Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes.
Written by Canadian Hannah Moscovitch, this 75-minute two-hander had its world premiere in Toronto in early 2020, but was cut short by the pandemic – including in Melbourne, where Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classeswas supposed to be presented last May. Instead, this production directed by Petra Kalive opens MTC’s 2021 season a year after the company turned out the lights.
Izabella Yena and Dan Spielman in Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes. Photograph © Jeff Busby
It’s mostly set in author-lecturer Jon’s university office and his home, where he lives alone because wife number three wife recently moved out. That’s...