POV, The Space@Surgeon's Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Suited Elephant Theatre Company
Alex McNally (director and technician)
Betsy Robertson, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Fogarty-Graveson, Sam Rees, Tara Burgess
Running time

‘P.O.V.’ was at one time simple shorthand in the film industry, indicating a scene or image shot from the ‘point of view’ of a character. In pornographic films, it at least suggests that the viewer is indeed a voyeur, or invited to imagine themselves as disengaged participants.

Suited Elephant don’t take on the uncomfortable contradictions of the element that is said to largely finance and power the development of the internet, namely pornography, but their conversations with a group of people with varying attitudes to pornography, reproduced on stage, encourage us to examine parts of our psyches we might not otherwise wish to.

‘I don’t have a designer vagina’ announces one of the actors early on in Suited Elephant’s largely verbatim production, although this brush with reality isn’t fully explored – interesting, incidentally how some statements can take on other meanings in certain contexts – and if there’s a cavil to be had, it lies in what ‘P.O.V.’ chooses to talk about and what is left out.

One suspects that swathes of our population are now more aware of pornography because it is easily and anonymously accessible. Although we are listening to the reactions and reflections of consumers, the realities of production are something Suited Elephant have, perhaps wisely, chosen not to discuss.

This makes for an interesting silence, since it reflects the silence we mostly fall into when sex becomes a topic. Readily available pornography can and does alter perception and expectation, yet pornographic art has been with us from antiquity, from the Sheila-na-Gigs of Ireland to the Greek-influenced erotic sculpture of Classical India, and features in Islamic art as much as Western or Japanese.

Often met with the averted gaze or embarrassed silence, pornography in one form or another is perhaps no more than one means of dealing with our necessarily divergent responses to the terrifying reality of sex. If Suited Elephant can elicit such responses from one jaded reviewer, one can but hope their future audiences find plenty to talk about.

4th-19th August(not 6th or 13th)at 20.05