by Tony Zeane

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by Tony Zeane

Set in modern-day Sydney, Burnt explores the timeless and universal subject of gambling and gambling addiction.

Nick is a compulsive gambler destroyed by hope. He is a 32-year-old chef who wants to buy his own restaurant in a trendy part of Sydney. He is intelligent, charming, affectionate and, at times, loyal. He works hard and earns good money but the money he earns is not enough to support his gambling addiction. Everyone knows that they shouldn't lend Nick money but somehow he always manages to talk his friends and relatives around. He knows he is wrong, he knows that it's destroying his life; he knows that he has to give up . . . and he will . . .

He has maxed his credit cards, extorted money from his mother, borrowed large amounts of money from his friends, spent his girlfriend's lifesavings and now he is back home living with his mother.

The play starts seriously: we learn that Nick has swindled his unwitting girlfriend and witness him bullying his sick mother. In the following scenes, however, whilst never losing the serious nature of its subject matter, the play becomes a discomforting comedy of life amongst Nick's dodgy friends with addictive personalities.

The play ends with the revelation that Nick has stolen and gambled the proceeds of a winning ticket worth over $400000.

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