Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pornography by Simon Stephens

Pornography by Simon Stephens has just come to London for the first time, and I highly recommend you get your ticket now, because I predict (deservedly) good reviews on the strength of tonight’s (first) performance.

This is a difficult play to sum up or reduce to a simple plotline. Suffice to say, the action is set in London in July 2005, and weaves in and around three major events: the 7/7 bombings, the Olympic 2012 annoucement and the Live 8 concert.

It’s not really about any of these things, as such. And it’s not about pornography in the traditional sense of the word, you’ll be disappointed, I mean, ahem, relieved to learn.

(The last time I had such an accidentally exciting time on Google was researching Shopping and F**king by Mark Ravenhill back in uni days. Talk about pop-ups...)

All smut aside, this is a very moving play, with great performances all round. I’d heard good things about this play from a friend who saw it in Edinburgh last year, and despite going in with very high expectations – usually the kiss of death - I wasn’t disappointed. This is a very gripping 90 minutes of theatre.

Oh, and it even has some nudity. (Again, all credit to Anthony Welsh that I was so busy listening to him that I didn’t even notice Sam Spruell stripping off in the background. Well, not at first. There was a point when it became impossible not to notice. In a good way. I think I better stop this tangent now before I get into trouble…)

In short: go see.

Oh, and here are some links about it, although I don't recommend you look at them before you see the play.

(This is just a suggestion - I hate reading too much about stuff before I see it. Also,most of the coverage focuses on one aspect of the play, but I think it's a broader piece than you'd realise if you just looked at advance press. But do look if you want to. I'm not your mum.)

So, here's a typically hysterical headline from the Telegraph in an otherwise quite sensible piece on last year's production. And an interview with the author from the grauniad.

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