Nowadays, stories of celebrity nudes abound, attracting much unwanted media attention and accusations of who’s to blame flying in every direction.
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.