REVIEW 2022: HALF OF NOTHING and PORN

ByIDGTF

REVIEW 2022: HALF OF NOTHING and PORN

‘Half of Nothing’ and ‘Porn’, at Pennylane Bar, free play reading May 1st.
Ella Skolimowski is a Playwright worth watching. She likes to turn things on their head which makes us re-examine our norms and notions of ‘logic’. We were told in the introduction that she won the ‘Amy Dalton Bursary ‘ organised by the Gay Theatre Festival during lockdown and that the play reading was often the penultimate step before a full production.

Half of Nothing‘ should be produced. We found ourselves in 2067, not sure where but mono-sexuality no longer exists. Ever human has both male and female sexual organs and hence are self sufficient. Their is no patriarchy in relationships, because there are no longer traditional roles to be fulfilled, especially around childbirth and rearing that long economically disadvantaged women in existing societies. A dilemma arises when a person faces inevitable duosexial puberty rebels and wants a single mono sexual identity instead. The impact on self, family and a insistent society are stories long known to our Trans family. Skolimowski is a political writer, gender politics, social norms, insisted identity, all end up on their heads. Yet her characters still face the dilemma of a (new) society that still imposes gender identity and norms. This lense of opposites is used in lgbt+ writing and her treatment is fresh and revealing. Her talented cast read well and the audience response in discussion must encourage her to complete this challenging plot.

Porn is her short play that reached the ‘Scene and Heard’ stage earlier this year. This was a great opportunity to hear the text of a play that unravels our relationship with porn, from soft to hardcore, from spectator to participant, entrapped or age exploited. Her treatment and the reading of the underage role was particularly effective. Skolimowski doesn’t pull her punches. She shines a light on behaviour and issues that exist…the reason they aren’t acknowledged more in society as real debate is often drowned out by ‘moral outrage’. Theatre at least silences that so we can all listen. The audience in Pennylane did listen and learned from the fearless pen of Ella Skolimowski and we can look forward to a lot more challenging theatre in her future. What a great festival opener and it augurs well for the rest of the diverse programme.

About the author

IDGTF administrator