Fake Porno | Ride On Theatre

Fake Porno | Ride On TheatrePhoto - Pia Johnson

Entering into the Turbine rehearsal room at the Powerhouse it was clear that Fake Porno was going to be something different. The entrance was lit in red neon with cheap velveteen draped over the walls. The blasé door bitch took our tickets and we made our way into the room. The jilting of the senses didn’t stop there. Inside the room it wasn’t enough to be a dutiful theatre goer who takes a seat in a row. We all had to navigate our way through the tables of a pseudo Belgrade nightclub trying to find somewhere to sit. Meanwhile, Folk techno is pumped out over the sound system and mounted screens played street scenes from a car window and Serbian TV. It was apparent I wasn’t along for the ride; I was apart of the ride. The set dovetails with the story perfectly. Fake Porno is an exposé of the lives of the passengers that are picked up by a Belgrade taxi driver (Jim Daly). A congenial, everyday, talkative taxi driver, or is he? The driver wants to tell us about his life and it is through his passengers that we learn.

Directed and translated by Bojana Novakovic, Ride On Theatre presents a punchy and witty show which delves into the lives of the city’s youth. It is set in a raw, sweaty, gritty post conflict Serbia where everyone seems to be clinging to someone or something. The story lays bear the lives of the characters - a cool pole dancer (Louise Quill) searching for the love and adoration which gives substance to her desires; a sexually adventurous 14 year old with a Lil’ Kim complex; a neurotic narcissistic radio DJ who redeems herself through charity work with a dog shelter, a gay suicidal lover waiting to say yes. Each of these characters has raw emotions sitting just below the surface. Fake Porno scratches the thin veneer of bravado and optimism to reveal this. These characters aren’t just misunderstood youth doing it hard. They are searching for meaning, creating a reality, yet, sure of their convictions whilst also contradictory, just like the rest of us, regardless of age. 

The script is tight and the laughs are easy to find, yet the humour only heightens the directionless journey you sense in the character’s stories. The staging of the production places the audience within the action. Whilst we are corralled around our tables the dialogue between the characters is delivered overhead. This heightens the sense of voyeurism and engagement. Are we observing? Or, are we being observed by our fellow audience members? Couple that with audience plants (watch out for the priest) and you get the sense at any moment you might be closer to the action than you realise. It’s a worthy theatre encounter. 

Fake Porno brings to audiences a perspective, intelligence and experience which isn’t always found in Australian theatre.


Brisbane Powerhouse and Ride On Theatre present
Fake Porno

Venue: Turbine Rehearsal Room                   
Dates: 27 January – 1 February 2009           
Time: 8:30pm
Bookings: 07 3358 8600 or brisbanepowerhouse.org

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