PORNOGRAPHILLIP, written by Jake Stewart, has the potential to be a side-splitting show, but a disconnect from dramatic elements makes it fall a little flat. It could be hilarious in a clever way, but instead of laughing at the meta verse of what the world turned into, we are just laughing at porn-like 13-year-old boys.
Across the board, the acting needs more clarity and intention both in character objective and diction for each actor. As characters flip between enjoying and repulsing the new and exciting porn-filled world, it sometimes makes it difficult to follow along. While James Hardy as the Mayor was a stand-out, taking physical comedy to its limits, it may just be in comparison to the other subpar performances. It feels as though the actors and director didn’t know the show's tone; thus, we are lost as an audience.
Chopping between non-sensical science fiction comedy to deeper emotional and intense moments leaves the audience confused and sitting on a pair of blue balls, waiting for the final piece of the puzzle.
Although the dance number was a welcome comedic surprise, it’s hard to know how much we laugh with the cast and how much we laugh at them.
The lighting is effective throughout, one of the stronger elements to help us distinguish between real and absurd worlds, while the sound leaves something to be desired.
PORNOGRAPHILLIP could be very funny or even poignant emotional comedy if it knew a little more about what it is. It should be mentioned it was refreshing and quite lovely to see male presenting performers, who would typically be described as quite masculine, being intimate and vulnerable with each other on stage.
Also, shout out to whoever they have on their waxing team! Smoooooth bodies all around!
PORNOGRAPHILLIP is worth a watch for a light-hearted night at Theatre Works with a story set in the Aussie outback with all too familiar characters.
PORNOGRAPHILLIP is playing at Theatre Works as part of the 2023 Melbourne Fringe Festival until October 21st. Tickets and further information can be found here.