Review by Tearthese Trouserzoff
So, last weekend, FM, a couple of pals (Terry and Brenda) and I went to see another in the flesh gem from Griffin Theatre Company at the Stables (the old old Nimrod).
The play is called 8 Gigabytes of Hardcore P~ (just to get past your nasty network filters). While there was no actual P in the play, it was a very contemporary cutting and funny reflection of the midlife loneliness-driven world of online dating / SMS “romance” – or more accurately the lack thereof. Look closely at the picture above. Can you make out the repeated word “happiness” ? It’s elusive. It sure is elusive.
“I’m fat. I’m stupid. I’m ugly”. “Maybe if I wasn’t so fat, I wouldn’t be so ugly – it’s because I’m stupid” But I DO have some good qualities ….. pause …. I’m kind.
LOL ?? ! ? The spoken SMS punctuation was hilarious.
Written by Declan Greene, Eight Gigabytes stars Andrea Gibbs and Steve Rodgers and was/is directed by Griffin Artistic Director Lee Lewis (whose mythological adventure The Bull, The Moon and The Coronet of Stars blew us away last year).
The protagonists exist in a sad and lonely mid-life wasteland – she is an underpaid/overworked nurse – a single mother of one facing a slow grinding financial oblivion and he’s trapped in a very unloving marriage where he sits desperately waiting for his TV- watching his wife to go to bed so he can pullout the laptop, unzip the fly and … you can guess the rest.
The two (one hesitates to use the word ‘lovers’ ) meet online, negotiate a stop-start phone affair and eventually meet in person. They get to share an uncomfortable drink or two too many in a bar as well as sharing a plethora of half-truths and outright lies – much like the lies he tells his boss when he gets asked whether he’s downloaded 8 gigs onto the company laptop on one of his many sick days.
It’s a sad, sad, funny dialogue – at once poignant and heart wrenching – according to Terry who’s gone through much the same scenario after his kids grew up and left the nest, and for whom the drama was just a little too uncomfortably close to home. Not that he was keen to share that with Brenda – his partner of just one year.
Afterwards, we discussed the play for hours over a meal and a few glasses of somewhat too inexpensive red – which is a fair indication that we really appreciated the play, the light-as -a-feather direction, the warts and all acting and the all too human story of the built-in compromises involved in beating loneliness deep in the third quarter of life.
Griffin supports new talent and the price of a seat is really at the bottom end of live entertainment – but the quality of their productions is fresh and always outrageously good.
Go and see 8 Gigs if you can – It’s a blast ! http://www.griffintheatre.com.au