Review By Sophia Gilet
Innocent Paw is 1 of 4 Shows put on this Fringe season by The Actors' Hub for 4X4X4- 4 shows over 4 nights for 4 weeks.The final installation of a trilogy exploring our culture right now. The trilogy started with the phenomenally successful One Punch Wonder, which has toured nationally and just finished a regional tour, One Punch Wonder looks to exposing the cost of toxic masculinity and how we raise our boys, followed by Implied Consent a show which looks at consent in all it's forms and now this show- Innocent Pawn.
This show is verbatim theatre at it's most confronting- taking the words straight from the mouths of people in Perth to Porn stars, Directors and serial killers. It offers a 360 degree look at Pornography and what the actual effects are on our culture, history and relationships.
Before the show begins, as you wait outside you are invited to answer seemingly simple questions that revolve around porn.Then when you walk into the space you confronted with having to choose where you sit as Innocent Pawn is in the round. Taking up most of the centre of the stage is half a car with rubble piled around it.
The show starts, the actors come on obviously excited and you are welcomed to an annual gathering of what you soon learn is our near future.This ragtag group then start celebrating the History of porn.It's an experience.The actors walk around the centrepiece leap on and off with amazing athleticism and weave through the audience. This show is incredibly immersive, with the actors addressing the audience directly, muttering and as they walk behind you and generally making you feel like there is no escape.
The show makes you look at your own experience with porn and attitudes, whether as a consumer or bystander and as the show unfolds you are made to realise just how desensitised a society we have become.Is a engrossing and at times an uncomfortable show and it should be.
The Director Amanda Crewes as created a space that explores and exposes all the facets of Porn. As desensitised as we are to it all, only a show that fully immerses can even get a lot of people to actually question.The show was tied together with the costumes - a bizarre mix of burlesque, steampunk and post apocalyptic and the music - which verged on creepy and haunting at points.With massive screens set all around the space, the screens come to life as the actors speak and are used very effectively through out the show.
This show is an example of excellent ensemble work with all of them building the energy and focusing attention where it is needed.There is a lot interesting use of technology, which further created discordant experiences and an audiovisual journey that makes you feel like you were in a dream.
The actors' did a stellar job of verbatim, slipping between accents and people often seamlessly.The stories told are from all points of view- Men, Women, Porn Producers, Rappers, Mums, Wives, Daughters.The Director and Actors have a powerful and urgent message and have constructed a show that sits with you and requires you to process. While it isn't a gentle light romp in the park this play has substance a a compelling message that needs to be seen and heard.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.