Death is the New Porn

Authentic, thrilling and (overly) ambitious, Death is the New Porn is a fine piece of theatre. Jack Elliot’s new play goes deep into the lives of its characters, exposing their hypocrisies and frailties with brutal honesty. The performances are wonderful and the dialogue is sharp, but thematically it has bitten off more than it can chew. The resulting choking convulsions inevitably detract from what is an otherwise thoroughly entertaining show.

It is part brilliant exposé of seedy Edinburgh low life, part exploration of vigilante justice.

We follow the lives of Edinburgh’s prostitutes, vigilantes and alcoholics - all dealing with their demons, though not very well. There is more than a whiff of Irvine Welsh-style grisliness to the piece. Although it has moments of humour, there are few of hope. The former allows us to forgive the latter. An hilarious skit reimagines the life of a prostitute in terms of movie genres. It sounds tasteless and it is, but it is terrifically funny too.

All the actors acquit themselves well here. Elliott, in particular, is great as Tom, a man trying not to let the cracks in his psyche get any bigger. A sense of menace is always palpable beneath his understated performance. Rosie Milne also does well in her two roles. Her trajectory from teetotaller to singing drunk as Lydia is fluid and graceful.

The main problem, however, is that Death is the New Porn doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It is part brilliant exposé of seedy Edinburgh low life, part exploration of vigilante justice. The play would have do better if it chose to be one or the other, as these themes never sufficiently meet, giving the play an oddly fractured feeling. An interesting premise - the possible morality of vigilantism - is introduced but then completely sidelined for the rest of the play. The characters passingly refer to it once in a while, but apparently the task of killing paedophiles takes up relatively little of their attention. They have awkward family lives to deal with, after all.

Nevertheless, Death is the New Porn is a confident debut for its young company Blazing Hyenas. The show is endlessly gripping; they are ones to watch. 

Reviews by Rory Mackenzie

Pleasance Dome

Unmythable

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Girl from Nowhere

★★★★
Gilded Balloon

Allie

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Boris: World King

★★★★★
C venues - C nova

Some Thing New

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

A+E

★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Three self-styled vigilantes decide to seek revenge for anyone who has been the victim of a brutal crime. But in their zeal to take an eye for an eye, their long standing friendships come under increasing pressure. As the cracks begin to show and old demons come back to haunt them, the dynamic of the three slowly breaks down, leaving this once tight group questioning their actions. Just how far can they take their ideals? And having committed their acts of vengeance, can anything ever be the same again?

Most Popular See More

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets