Porn

Porn is a musical that aims to show the emotional side of those working in the adult film industry. The writer’s note explains that there are themes of “drugs, homelessness, victimisation, sexism and legalisation”. It is a shame that none of these was particularly apparent or thought through.

No matter what you expect Porn to be you will be disappointed as it achieves precisely nothing.

The show opens with the protagonist, Chase, being beaten up by his drug-dealer’s (emoji-mask wearing) thugs for not paying his money. Chase is encouraged by a non-descript, assumed sex-worker, who is possibly his girlfriend, to call a number which lands him at a porn studio. What follows is essentially Sister Act in an adult film studio, as he hides from his debt and conceals the truth from his new colleagues.

I can see what Porn aims to be: a heartwarming production that shows adult entertainment workers as pained humans with real and tough life problems that refuses to be smutty or crass. I can only say that this show missed the target by quite a large margin. It sits in a desolate no-man’s land that isn’t funny or poignant, heart-warming or raunchy.

I found the opening held a modicum of promise: sexual moans and groans played from a speaker, forming a rhythm that developed into a grunting overture of sorts, which I liked. This promise was swiftly shattered in the opening song and the remainder of the show continued in a pretty unimaginative fashion. The accents were inconsistent, with half being Scottish and half being American with a poor, thick New York accent thrown in for good measure.

Despite ambiguous relationships and a timid attempt at the humanisation of those who work in the porn industry, the performances themselves were tired and weak. There were several points where people who were singing together were not in time with one another, lyrics were forgotten and characters would change their accent the moment they started to sing. The cast acted as though they had been given a tranquilliser prior to the performance. I'd be surprised if they wanted to be there any more than me, because they certainly weren’t showing it. There were also embarrassing and uncomfortable moments in which the lights were poorly operated: a blackout mid-song and full house-lights during a scene transition. The musical styling showed glimmers of potential in the incidental music or the introductions to songs, reminiscent of the electronic soundscape of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Again, this didn’t last for long with the songs seemingly all written within the same octave.

No matter what you expect Porn to be you will be disappointed as it achieves precisely nothing. I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone pay to see this show.

Reviews by Nathan Grifiths

SpaceTriplex

Porn

Since you’re here…

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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.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Following a botched drug deal, Chase is on the run and turns to his best friend and local hooker, Vix, for help. She hides him in a porn studio where she used to work, but with the clock ticking, Chase finds more than his secrets stripped bare, exposing everyone to dangerous consequences. Porn is an urban musical focusing on the many faces (and body parts) of the sex industry and the various characters it attracts. With lyrics and music by Edinburgh-based Robert S J Lucas, you'll never look at porn the same way again!

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