REVIEW: PRIVATISING PARTS, written by Heleyni Pratley, based on the book by Richard Meros. Directed by Eleanor Bishop.
Bats Theatre, 6.30pm until October 6.
The satirical writings of Richard Meros have developed a cult following, with two of his previous publications making it on to the stage. This new stage adaptation of Privatising Parts could be considered a sequel to On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover. Having had Clark as a love interest to the point of it being an obsession, Meros then had to deal with the pain of her losing the 2008 election and moving to New York.
As a consequence he now proposes that we must take control our of desires and that love, lust and marriage nts evennte must be privatised The obsession for Clark is still there, but it is the current government's obsession with privatising our assets and free market economics that Meros is really getting at.
And while the clever and innovative use of Power Point presentations have been key to previous productions' success, in this production it is very much the solo performance of actor Heleyni Pratley that carries the show.
Dressed in a white boiler suit, Pratley bounds on to the stage, which is set up like a laboratory, and proceeds, with unceasing frenetic energy, to dissect everything to do with love.
There is some attempt at using technology such as doll-like figures that she manipulates in from of a web cam and YouTube clips, but for the most part Pratley rants and raves through the subject matter, lurching from one topic to another, rarely giving either herself or the audience time to pause and think.
Privatising love in all its forms as the way forward appears to be Pratley's catch cry, the climax of the show being that they are given over to Randy Corp, which will be the solo judge of what happens in the future. And while there is no denying the veracity with which Pratley has with her subject matter, and she is to be commended for the sheer force with which she puts it across, so full-on is the performance that many ideas and themes are lost.
While there is a constant stream of laugh-out-loud moments, much of the satire is lost making this an interesting but not wholly satisfying production.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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