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Poster Girl

POSTER GIRL by Van Badham presented by THE GEMEINSCHAFT DOGS (THE G-Dogs Theatre Co) and TAMARAMA ROCK SURFERS, at The Old Fitzroy, Woolloomooloo, June 6-July 12, 2008

Remember Patty Hearst and her kidnapping. Now remember Paris Hilton. Now think Poster Girl: Mindy Xyloine and have her kidnapped by some hippie group to promote their demands for free organic vegetables mix in media news and a police force corrupted by drugs and sex, highlight the celebrity creative team around our kidnapped Girl and you have the ingredients for this satiric cartoon of aspects of our contemporary society. It is a very amusing context and the writer has an edge with one line quips that elicit some good laughs.

This play was originally workshopped at the AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PLAYWRIGHTS’ CONFERENCE (ANPC) in 2006. The problem with zeitgeist satire is that it can feel dated very quickly. Two years later this play is funny but it has lost its edge and feels a bit like last month’s Tabloid. The production values are those of a “shoe string budget” and don’t add up much to clear support. The Direction (James Beach) is safe and really needs more pace and a lighter touch. The video sequences are nicely done but cause the on going tempo of the play to falter, the music scoring is “hip” but unfairly sets the pace of the show which the acting doesn’t match. The actors do a fair job, some more technically skilled than others for this kind of comedy. Enjoyed the contribution of Fayssal Bazzi, Shannon Dooley and Andrew Lees especially.

This is the kind of play when it is in its right time zone that we need to see more of: Bright, breezy and satiric with a wicked and forensic eye. It reminded me of the television program on Channel 7, The MAVIS BRAMSTON SHOW in the 1960’s that always began with an up to date satire of the week’s, even day’s, events social and political. What does Badham have to say about NOW? I hope we find out really soon. This is a CO-OP production.