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Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, Orange Tree Theatre – Review

Not everyone is who they seem on the Internet. Online, the lonely can find new friends, identities, and even lovers – both virtual and real. What happens then, when desperate desire meets with cold reality? Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography is a play about the Internet and the people you may meet while looking for love or lust. It’s a strange but enjoyable comedy with plenty of laughter and darkness, that is not so much an exploration of loneliness and porn addiction as a satire of both. The play tells the story of an unnamed man and woman who…

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Rating

Good

A strange but enjoyable comedy with plenty of laughter and darkness

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Not everyone is who they seem on the Internet. Online, the lonely can find new friends, identities, and even lovers – both virtual and real. What happens then, when desperate desire meets with cold reality?

Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography is a play about the Internet and the people you may meet while looking for love or lust. It’s a strange but enjoyable comedy with plenty of laughter and darkness, that is not so much an exploration of loneliness and porn addiction as a satire of both.

The play tells the story of an unnamed man and woman who meet online for very different reasons. He’s wealthy but bored and has taken to pornography and an affair to escape a loveless marriage. She’s struggling to get by, with debts to pay, children to feed, and with her husband in care, in need of company. The two meet for drinks, and soon a relationship (of sorts) forms.

Sex, dating, and porn can be disastrous and cringeworthy topics if handled incorrectly. Luckily, Declan Greene’s writing is as sharp as it is vulgar and manages to pull laughs from some very uncomfortable moments, from the masturbatory to the harrowing. Matthew Douglas and Cate Hamer are a great double act, with Douglas’s masterful pomposity playing off well against Hamer’s endearingly no-nonsense foil.

If Eight Gigabytes does suffer, it is in presenting a somewhat superficial take on social issues. The class disparity between both characters is evident, and yet only really serves as a means of creating empathy with one character over the other. I would have been interested in an investigation of how privilege operates in a society where working class people (and in this case, working class women) are vulnerable. The play also veers quite close to stepping over the line at points, particularly with regard to the man’s interest in underage girls, which is never examined beyond a level of funny (if risqué) perversion.

Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography is a fun if discomfiting play that does not exactly bare all but will certainly provoke and entertain in equal measure.

Author: Declan Greene
Director: Gianluca Lello
Box Office: 020 8940 3633
Booking Link: https://www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/eight-gigabytes-of-hardcore-pornography/about
Booking Until: 10th August 2019

About Alex Hayward

Alex Hayward
Alex Hayward is a playwright, blogger, and public relations professional. Following an unsuccessful decade of novel-writing, he turned his attentions to drama and has never looked back. Outside of theatre, his interests largely revolve around music, records, and the French language - or trying to find the time to learn it.