Review: Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography
Declan Greene, Melbourne based theatre-maker, not yet 30, returns to the Griffin with a play that dares to make art about middle age.
Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography is incredibly bleak. It is also bitterly funny and uncompromising to the end. It asks we watch on as two brilliant performers get under the sagging skin of middle-aged people who are having their own “Lucy Jordan moment.”
There is no Paris or sports car or warm wind for our unnamed forty-somethings. They have been idling for most of their lives, they thought there would be a time for everything and suddenly they realise they’re not going anywhere.
Despite the attention grabbing title there is little sex or even comfort in the air. On Marg Howell’s minimal set, a sickly mauve shagpile carpet that covers the walls and floors provides one of the production’s few soft features, along with the naked flesh on display when our courageous actors disrobe.
Greene’s tight script doesn’t spare us any of his characters’ desperation. Much of the dialogue is directed to the audience as these two nobodies bear their souls. The actors are often seen standing side by side and only now and again actually speak to each other. We learn the facts. He works in IT and she is a registered nurse. We hear their confessions. He is porn-addicted and she is facing financial chaos. They meet online.
If you’ve never dipped your toe into the world of internet dating this piece is surely enough to turn you off forever. The lesson here is you risk your love life beginning to resemble that of a pimply teenager. As for our troubled twosome, their first date should have been their last, but loneliness fuelled by addiction is a terrible thing.
I have to admit I kneel at the altar of Steve Rogers. He brings every fibre of his being to the stage. Partnering him with comedian Andrea Gibbs is nothing short of inspired. Together they deliver raw, brave performances under the intelligent direction of Lee Lewis.
I believe we are in a golden era of great work by gay playwrights. This is another one.
[Main image] Steve Rodgers and Andrea Gibbs. Photos: Brett Boardman
Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography will run at Griffin Theatre until 4 June. For bookings: 02 9361 3817 or www.griffintheatre.com.au