Porno 88 misses the spot

Porno-88I went to Porno 88 because I love dark humour and anything that sounds like it’s going to push some envelopes or break a few boundaries.

I don’t think Porno 88 delivered on these expectations.

Oh, I laughed quite a few times. Much of the almost-full house giggled throughout. Because the reader-actors are great and it’s an absurd and lively story. They’re having fun with the script and with each other.

But I’m not sure the initial humorous impact of inventively evocative insult-hurling can carry the show for its advertised 75 (really 90) minutes… It’s sort of just… a lot of the same. Where it could be shockingly raunchy – it becomes boringly predictable.

It isn’t every theatre work’s responsibility to take on serious matters. It is ok to sit back and simply have a good time too. But Porno 88 is perfectly placed to work in some commentary on the sex industry. And it came close once or twice – although that could be my wishful thinking.

“Why can’t we all just fuck along?” – Yes! A good message about minding your own business about who you choose to do and how you choose to do it. A bit more of that could help with the world’s rampant homophobia, and slut-shaming, and the damage the religious morality police do, etc.

Yeah, so, this might sound a bit ambivalent. I am. The actors are skilled. The bantering comic timing, ensemble work, and pace was excellent. But the concept, the overall execution, the pandering to easy laughs… is, well, easy theatre.

Perhaps it’s simply that I wasn’t shocked ‘cos I’ve heard it all before. (Which probably says a lot about the circles I move in.) But Porno 88 could have a much greater impact if there was a smidgeon of purpose underneath the easy fun…

Go see for yourself. Take someone who needs a shake-up.

– Sarah Roberson

Porno 88: A XXX Reading is on tonight (27/09) & tomorrow (28/09) @ 21:30 @ City Hall 2. Click here for info & bookings.

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