The Adversary by Ronnie Scott | Review

Esther Hannan-Moon

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When you think of summer images of beaches, sunbathers, parks, and picnics enter your mind. Ronnie Scott explores these stereotypical summer pastimes through the eyes of an introverted homebody being dragged out into Melbourne, kicking and whining by his roommate Dan. The Adversary’s unnamed protagonist is reluctant to leave the sanctuary that he and Dan have created in Brunswick, but strangers with capes and American – Australian accents are sirens, pulling him towards the social scene. Inside is secure and certain, Dan is there acting as his anchor; who needs more than Dan? Apparently, he needs a lot more than just Dan, so why not throw in Dan’s boyfriend Lachlan and their mutual friends; Chris L. and Vivian. Oh, and the Richmond Stranger who sticks around like glitter. Exploring these connections through the perspective of a man that’s reluctant to have them in the first place, makes you laugh at the peculiar scenarios that ensue. It’s fresh and uncertain.

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The awkward interactions and blunt inner thoughts of the protagonist could belong to anyone. A character that has no given name and crisp details paint a picture that almost everyone could say ‘that’s so me’. We’ve all been reluctant to try something new, to step out onto the rickety bridge that is the social scene. Scott has captured this feeling through his sparse use of dialogue, jarring and minimalist, with references that you will either understand or pretend that you do, but secretly have no clue about. Although, at times it was a slight challenge to decipher the meaning behind the dialogue The Adversary is a pleasant cocktail of awkward social situations and memorable characters.