Written by Cherie Jacobson and Alex Lodge
Directed by Ed Watson
at BATS, Wellington
Until 21 Apr 2012
Being I'm a bit of a Playwright myself, I thought I'd share this! And seeing that I haven't written anything as yet on my blog about Plays, why not start here?
Apparently this dark comedy Play had a full house and was hilariously funny! I wish I could have been the fly on the wall, but I don't think I'll be catching any flights to New Zealand to see it. I guess were just have to wait and see if it plays in a theatre near me! There are two main reviews. In reflection I found John Smythe's review to be quite interesting. John Smythe is the managing editor and critc of theatreveiw.org.nz. His also a writer of plays for stage, television and film.
Have a great day!
Links to reviews
Nucking Futs – from the team that brought us Tea for Toot – is inspired by the phenomenon of independent writers self-publishing e-books online in the virtual (but not exactly virtuous) minefield of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and 'reality' television.
Cleo has launched herself with a romance novel called Her Moist Abyss, which involves caving. A subsequent incident at a Whanganui Writers Week Q&A session – captured by way of a prologue – has led to her taking time out to meditate at what she is pleased to call a spiritual retreat and health spa.
She has also hired "a documentary crew to make a self-promotional film about ‘the woman behind the words'," as the media release puts it. The detail of who is paying what for this is glossed over, but it does become apparent Cleo has not retained any sort of editorial right over what footage gets used and how. She is not allowed to call "cut" and Chip the cameraman keeps saying he can make no promises about what may or may not be used, although it is not clear who he answers to or who holds what rights over the accumulating footage (or do we call it bytes these days?).
Comment excerpts from John Smythe's review.
Thanks for that, Martyn. I do have a note about Rod's Reads, following the first Insecure Writers' Support Group scene and before the reveal about Raoul. I just didn't clock it as the catalyst for "the whole show". Perhaps I missed a time-shift thing, or was it a bit of backstory exposition. Does Cleo respond to the Rod's Reads review, and to the responses to her responses, within the present action of the play?
I'll come again on Tuesday (prior to Other People's Wars) and if I realise I have factually misrepresented the play, I will add a correction to this thread.
"On the second viewing I do see how Nucking Futs aims to confront the phenomenon of internet cruelty. Right at the start Cleo reports that she got a bad review on Rob's Reads but she's carted off before she can give us the guts. Later she and Diane deliver some expository reportage on what happened. But nothing in the present action of the play allows us to either empathise with her outrage or fear for what will happen to her, given her behaviour.
(Spoiler alert) Chip the cameraman and Raoul/Trent the predatory blogger do collude to exploit the delusional vulnerability of Cleo. Chip is a film school grad trying to get a break (so presumably is doing this for nothing) and Trent … Well I still don't see why he is going to all the trouble of physically entering her life to mess with her. (ends) I mean most 'meanness by meme' happens on the net in a series of mindless passing moments where the perpetrators don't stop to think about the actual person they are making fun of. That is the nature of what the play sets out to explore."
Yes it's quite entertaining – very sometimes – in its idiosyncrasy. But there is little drama, no build up of tension and so no release, built into the dramatisation. And there is no opportunity to engage empathetically with Cleo. If the play allowed us to first feel tempted to laugh at Cleo, then realise the ridicule had gone too far and feel compassion for her, while questioning our own attitudes and responses, it would be much more effective, theatrically and socially.
As it stands we just get to appraise the situation objectively.
Click Here to read the full review by John Smythe
About LIfe and Literature online: review
Bats Theatre: Tickets.
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