Oleanna is David Mamets unflinching and controversial portrayal of power relations as viewed through the prism of a potentially fraudulent allegation of sexual harassment. The play is a two-hander set solely in a small office room. John is a pompous, self-aggrandising and chauvinistic professor. Carol is a savvy, but not smart, radial student. And when Carol accuses John of harassment, the lines are drawn for a breathless battle of the sexes.Kevin Hanssens John is wonderful to watch. His arrogance, condescension and rising desperation are perfectly rendered and tailored in their intensity for the intimacy of the Vault. Its a performance that takes it cue from Rex Harrisons Henry Higgins in its mixture of camp theatricality, likeability and cruelty. By contrast, Renee Mosterts Carol is a thin, quiet and ill-defined character. Theres no variation in her performance other than her volume and speed. She is unable to meet Hanssens intensity nor rise to the challenges Mamets text sets her. Carols motives are never clear leaving it to the actress to import an agenda into her performance. Mostert, however, seems to be marking her time on the stage, curiously distant from Carols mental and emotional state which is devastating to the effect of this kind of psychological thriller.The direction is inappropriate for the play. Heeten Bhagat seems to have made little effort to shape the piece. Dramatic beats pass unnoticed and the tension is left entirely to Hanssens performance. The blocking also undermines the realism of the text, with the actors breaking through the proscenium arch, hanging about just onstage of the wings and occasionally moving for no reason whatsoever. And the hyperrealism of Mametspeak is unfortunately lost due to artificial and poorly timed interruptions. One never feels truly engaged with the piece despite the fact its happening scarcely a few feet in front of you.These problems resonate deeply. This production posits the suggestion that which ever side you take, youre wrong. Unfortunately, the difference of the performances means that its John the audience feels for. Hes now a man greatly maligned by a vindictive and stupid student because she struggles with the difficulty of his degree classes. The escalation in his rage and conduct towards Carol becomes unbelievable and left me wondering why he didnt just shoot this irritating child and be done with her. Its a genuine shame that this production of Oleanna doesnt come together. The brilliance of the script and Hanssens strong performance are undercut by the weakness of Monsterts Carol and Bhagats direction. In the same way that the struggle for power between John and Carol cannot be satisfactorily resolved, neither can the oppositions within this production.