Forget the controversy, Pornography is superb
Against the backdrop of the July 7 bombings, Live 8 and the success of the Olympic bid, a collection of separate lives in the city of London unfolds on stage. These individual realities are odd and disconnected. The audience look on as each person seems p
Against the backdrop of the July 7 bombings, Live 8 and the success of the Olympic bid, a collection of separate lives in the city of London unfolds on stage. These individual realities are odd and disconnected. The audience look on as each person seems powerless to resist their own self-destructive tendencies.
A lonely old woman is deliberate in her avoidance of interaction, a brother and sister no longer resist becoming lovers, a working mum continues to allow herself to be treated like a doormat, a schoolboy becomes abusive to the teacher on whom he has a crush...
Closing in on all their lives is an Islamist suicide bomber. With stealth he makes his way towards London's King's Cross station, diligently ignoring his counterparts and calm in his intent to commit mass murder.
Sound bites - of Madonna at Live 8 telling the audience they are part of a revolution and cheers marking the winning of the Olympic bid - depict major national events that seem to do little to move the Londoners.
The play hints at our passivity as a society - the girl in the chemist not questioning why a young man (the bomber) would purchase large quantities of peroxide and nail-polish remover. The bomber seems to be the only character with any real sense of purpose or direction - purging Britain of its sinners.
His actions, however, appear to act as a catalyst, creating an unspoken shift within the other characters. And that's what makes this play so interesting to watch.
- 1 Walking book club: Hampstead Heath, Death and The Penguin
- 2 Hampstead Town's first Labour councillor stands down weeks into office
- 3 Five jailed after 'cold blooded' murder of Enfield father
- 4 Highgate pub landlords to appeal restrictive licence approval
- 5 Olympic ace opens Highgate primary school's new running track
- 6 Major tube strike to follow Queen's Platinum Jubilee long weekend
- 7 Calls for removal of South End Green phone box
- 8 5 of the best things to do with kids in north London
- 9 Campaign launched after girl suffers fractured ribs from e-scooter crash
- 10 Belsize Village restaurant hires young Ukrainian refugee
Pornography is more an observation of contemporary city life than a comment on the circumstances surrounding the 7/7 bombings.
Simon Stephens' writing is superb: the stories are engaging, the dialogue natural and funny, and the acting and direction flawless. Paul Wills' Tube-carriage style set, which heightens the sense of anonymity and alienation of the city dwellers, contributes to making this a play very much worth seeing.
Until August 29