By Holli Harms

“Believe in yourself and all that you are” is the unspoken chant that underlies the wonderful, timely, and poignant play The Culture by Aussie writer and performer Laura Jackson.

The play is set in the flat of two best mates, Katie (Jackson) and Will (Mansoor Noor), who have known each other since childhood. They are each other’s everything. Katie is a straight woman who wants to bring light, depth, and truth to the advertising world she works in. Will is a queer male who wants to create open space for those who are not yet ready to embrace and honor their individual truth. They create a podcast together, “Don’t Get Me Started,” where they are the quick-talking MCs sharing their fears and wisdom of how to live and be safe in today’s world. They are a spunky, fast-talking, take no prisoners twosome comfortable in their work environments and on their podcast, reaching out to fans to empower them with personal and emotional safety. They’ve got it down.


They don’t.

How the need for love and the desire for acceptance by a romantic partner can slowly transpire from what feels like truth to what is oppressive control and eventually abuse is the basis for the play. It is all presented with tender humor, painful honesty, and a straightforward quiet truth that not only entertains but packs a punch as well.

The play opens with a video sequence of famous women discussing their visions and beliefs about themselves – Emma Thompson, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, as well as Australian politicians. These pieces are beautiful, humbling, and infuriating, but set the evening up by focusing on the oppression of women in our society.

Jackson and Noor are perfection. They are the best of friends, the deepest of loves, and honest and present for one another. Their truthfulness on stage played so well that I will happily assume they truly have known one another since grade school.

Production designer, Tetta Askeland has created, on The Producer Club’s intimate stage, a wonderful lively apartment and podcast space as well as room enough for Jackson and Noor to skip, jump, run, and practically do cartwheels as they move their way through their stories.

Every moment of this 90-minute production drives the story forward, even the quiet and uncomfortable.

The production is damn good. So go and take a friend, a loved one, a confidante, and afterward go to The Producers Club bar, literally steps away, and have some amazing discussions about the roles of men and women in the world and society and all that this play will bring up.

Australians Important to Know for the Show:
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Member of Australian House of Representatives Bob Katter
Aussie Former Radio Jockey Alan Jones
Lesbian Comedian Hannah Gadsby

The Culture
A New Play by Laura Jackson
November 25th – December 17th 2022
Producer’s Club – 358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, United States
Starring: Laura Jackson and Mansoor Noor
Director: Bethany Caputo
Producer: Carly Fisher
Production Designer: Tetta Askeland
Lighting Designer: Capri Harris
Sound Designer: Charlotte Leamon
Stage Manager: Natalie Low
Graphic Designer: Brandon Wong
Running Time: 75 Minutes


Please be advised: The Culture contains references to: Domestic Violence, Homophobia, Eating Disorders and Physical Assault

If you, or anyone you know is in a violent relationship, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 800-799-7233

A portion of the proceeds of this production will be supporting local domestic violence charities in each city that it performs.

(In Australia one woman is killed each week at the hands of a partner, and intimate partner violence is the number one non-disease related cause of death or disability of women 15-44.)