Meaningful debate, clever thought and persuasiveness get overshadowed by ego manifested as sneering, sarcasm and physical violence.
Power and identity are at the heart of Rib Davis' play The Sword of Alex.
A confrontation between leader Antonio (Patrick Regis) and Karl (DK Ugonna), one of his ministers who is trying to get independence for the region of Nikal, interweaves with scenes of their own domestic problems.
Antonio's mistress Calantha (Kate Terence) wants to leave him while Karl's wife Gina (Georgia Winters) has similar plans.
The confrontation between the two leaders occurs during a ceasefire when they meet to try and persuade their opponent to back down from hostilities and violence.
Are ego and aggression the problem?
Antonio is arrogant, dismissive, sarcastic and grows aggressive easily. Karl, by comparison, has the demeanour of an underdog but has more fight than first appears.