The Innocent Pawn
A desolate wasteland sets the backdrop for this ecstatic, exuberant, and at times discomforting romp through the history and impact of porn. Exploring a weighty and important theme this play by The Actors’ Hub is visceral, evocative, immersive, and intense.
At 90 minutes it’s one of the longer theatre shows in the festival and they’ve certainly packed it with action.
A captivating dystopia, eclectic costumes, and gritty set are the hallmarks of this production. Highlights include powerful testimonials, playful risk taking from the performers, and creative use of technology to elicit emotional responses.
The Innocent Pawn takes the audience on a debauched and discomforting ride.
The tightly woven movements of performers serve to lift the energy of the show early on as they swarm in cacophony, however as the show barrels on, cracks in the ensemble undermine impact and reveal an uncertainty that belies the strength of the piece.
Similarly the captivating world created early on is inhabited for only a short time before being abandoned for data, information, and a confusing mix of personal, professional, and detached testimonies delivered one after the other with diminishing effect.
What could be a powerful conversation starter is derailed by trying to address more and more questions in an expansive topic.
The design of this show masterfully sets the tone for the piece, with the graveyard of stuff carefully curated to evoke a sense of the characters emotional state.
The costumes are flamboyant in the extreme and ground the actors in their surreal surroundings. The use of screens and devices furthers the plot and makes plain through the audiences lived experience the feelings and motivations of the players on stage.
The Innocent Pawn presents a lot of conversation starters and is definitely not for the faint of heart.