The Lowry Studio – until 23 October 2015
What would the world be like if we could annihilate pornography? How different would our world be if we could ban online porn and just start again? It’s an interesting debate and the subject of Rash Dash Theatre Company’s current production, We Want You To Watch.
We Want You To Watch has been commissioned by The National Theatre and written by Alice Birch – it follows two women (Helen Goalen and Abbi Greenland) on a mission to end pornography once and for all. Prior to them meeting with a pint-size American internet hacker (Bettrys Jones), who they hope will be able to pull the plug on internet porn, they have brief and outlandish encounters with a brutal sex offender (Lloyd Everitt), the Queen (Helena Lynbery) and a primary school boy (Adam Charteris) who has been exposed to porn on a mobile phone.
Helen Goalen and Abbi Greenland give energetic and versatile performances – every word and movement is loaded with freshness and spontaneity. First they are CID investigating the brutal sexual torture of a dental student – they interview their male suspect arguing that his addiction to hardcore porn was the motive for the attack. The language is striking, intense and sickening. A few moments later, they are assisting each other with the zips on their ball gowns as they prepare the interrogate the Queen and cajole her into signing a decree to abolish porn. There’s dynamic physical imagery here as the three dance to Beyonce’s Run the World, waving huge flags amongst a colourful burst of confetti.
Each main section is punctuated by the two performers talking directly to the audience through a microphone – it’s random, it slows the pace slightly and serves to keep the audience prepared and alert for their next chunk of the extreme. Designer Oliver Townsend has framed the performance space with a scaffold construction. The top platform is labelled like a supermarket shelf and it is laden with cans of SEX.
Following the 70 minutes of high intensity performance, Goalen and Greenland leave the stage breathless and sweaty. I leave feeling as though my brain has had a work out – with cogs whirring, Rash Dash certainly leave their audience with plenty to consider.
We Want You to Watch is at The Lowry Studio on Friday 23rd October 2015 at 8pm.