Blush
  • By Liam Rees
  • |
  • 13th Aug 2016
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Nowadays, stories of celebrity nudes abound, attracting much unwanted media attention and accusations of who’s to blame flying in every direction. Blush imagines what it would be like if that happened to you, or your sister, or if you were in some way responsible – what would you do?

Not an easy watch, but also an absolutely vital and timely show that everyone needs to see

Charlotte Josephine’s script follows six unnamed characters all linked in their experiences as victims, perpetrators and bystanders of revenge porn. Josephine and actor Daniel Foxsmith deliver powerhouse performances, shifting between each character with astounding clarity. We’re immediately hit over the head with details of how one woman’s sister has been the victim of revenge porn and the systematic injustice that protects the perpetrator and leaves her “feeling like she’s been raped 30,000 times”. We meet the woman who ends up sending nude photos out of a lack of self-confidence and a desire for some form of human connection in the modern world. Conversely we see the men who start of as ‘nice guys’ slowly become the perpetrators of online abuse despite their apparent concerns for their wives, daughters and sisters, as well as their constant need to suppress their cruel, basic instincts.

It’s a bleak and brutal situation, making us question if things will ever change. All of this is aided by director Ed Stambollouian, and designer, James Turner’s, decision to keep the actors on stage at all times, under constant scrutiny from cameras and the audience. It’s fast-paced and relentless, with the performances, sound and lighting designs all working in harmony to make sure we’re left on the edge of our seat at all times.

It goes without saying then that Blush is not an easy watch, but it’s also an absolutely vital and timely show that everyone needs to see. The slippery slope of social media, double standards and the systematic injustice of a sexist society are all exposed and it’s overwhelming to say the least with one character finally admitting “I don’t know what we do now.” After all, what can we do when everyone loses but nobody wins? Fortunately, Josephine is smart enough to know that there is no simple answer, but also that the solution rests in being brave enough to start a dialogue in the first place.

Reviews by Liam Rees

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CONSPIRACY

★★★
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UNCONDITIONAL

★★★
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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘She just needs to understand that it's not her fault, that she's not to blame, that she's not a slut.' Three women and two men swim in shame. Everyone's exposed. Everyone wants revenge. No one's talking about it. Five candid stories about revenge porn and all its many victims. Blush is a slap in the face and a call to arms. Written by Charlotte Josephine and presented by Snuff Box Theatre – the team behind award-winning Bitch Boxer.

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