Review: Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Porn

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Sandi Hall reviews Declan Greene’s Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Porn.

It would not be surprising if Declan Greene, Australian queer playwright, refused to have his work performed in New Zealand for the next few years.

Declan, a 30 yr old rising star in this field, has already won awards for his work – and justly so. Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography incisively dissects human inadequacy and frailty with a tenderly humorous but ruthless knife.

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Actors Bronwyn Bradley and Mark Wright deliver compelling portraits of two people who come to acknowledge their flaws and hope that sex with each other will somehow remedy them.

Bronwyn Bradley is exceptional – her eager-to-please too-wide smile of nervous fright, her breathy speech patterns revealing naivety, her body language saying “I will/I won’t” at every turn – all make this character spring true to her wretched life in front of us.

Mark Wright is less convincing, partly because he is a slim man playing a fat man. But his character’s dismal circumstances of viewing porn and gambling online also ring true, being widely seen in these modern times.

The audience is kept engrossed in the counter-play between these two. Infuriatingly, the ending is weakened by the refusal to play the final scenes naked, as Declan Greene’s remarkable script demands. This refusal tore down the integrity of the script, built by the actors so winningly.

Stage nudity in New Zealand is not new. Equus, the rather famous UK play mounted here about 30 years ago, required its male principal, in the last moments of the play, to stand nude before the audience, which actor Rawiri Paratene did with a beautiful integrity.

Shame then, that someone – don’t know who – decided to castrate Declan Greene’s award winning play, leaving us with a beige sense of what could have been.

 Article | Sandi Hall                            

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