Porn.Cake by Vanessa Bates
Recommended by AustralianPlays.org
When I put out a tweet a few weeks ago complaining about Amazon’s Kindle’s lack of play availability, @AustralianPlays tweeted me with a reminder about their website and play collection. I promptly added their suggestion to my “to read” list.
AustralianPlays.org recently released a collection entitled Red Door which is an initiative run by Tom Healey at the Australian Script Centre and focuses on contemporary Australian Theatre playwrights. Series One is looking at emotionally intense, vivid works.
Porn.Cake is one of five selected for the series. I managed to read it using their Library Pass feature as part of a trial of the site. It’s been a great way to check out their catalogue and save these to my reading list which you can create as part of your profile on the site. I’d highly recommend it to Drama Teacher’s out there who are looking for new works to use in their classroom that are Australian. It’s a professional site with a good catalogue.
Now, Porn. Cake is an interesting play. I recently read Constellations as part of my challenge and this play is uncannily like Constellations in its structure. It’s the story of two different couples and their disjointed relationship. Their lack of relationship, their complete oblivousness of themselves and their place in the world, in their relationship and that of others.
The characters are interesting and their are a couple of moments you could use as a monologue for the Individual Project (Performance). In particular, Bella in the opening scene which I imagined could be quite dream link and, the one I found most humorous, Annie in Scene 4.0 Caring in which she talks about getting to work on a Sunday morning. There is some language but nothing that a little director’s interpretation couldn’t fix.
I really felt this was another of those plays that I would need to see in order to fully understand the relationship between the characters and the conflict they have within themselves and with each other. The use of the cake metaphor got me thinking. To me it suggests sweetness, addiction, indulgence and the way the characters handle and interact with the cake reflects their current feelings and represents what they desire. I would’ve loved to see Pamela Rabe’s interpretation. It’s great to continue reading such great Aussie material.