The Innocent Pawn

The Innocent Pawn
Written and directed by Amanda Crewes. Actors Hub. Fringe World. The Actors Hub Studio, Kensington St, East Perth, WA. Jan 23-Feb 14, 2020

The Innocent Pawn plays as part of the Actors Hub’s 4x4x4, which features 4 different plays, presented over 4 nights each week, over the 4 weeks of Fringe World. The Innocent Pawn is an examination of porn culture and its influence on society. First performed in August last year, it returns for an encore season for Fringe World.

Part verbatim theatre piece, part interactive history lesson and part projection of a possible future, The Innocent Pawn is the third part of a trilogy, following One Punch Wonder and Implied Consent, and has some similarities stylistically. The plays in the trilogy are intended to be conversation starters and an impetus for societal change. A non-linear performance piece, this is impeccably rehearsed, slick and strong.

Designed to be performed in the round, the audience was small on the night I reviewed, which meant that the actors were performing largely to empty chairs - but they retained the energy and delivered a very dynamic performance. Excellent teamwork (that perhaps can only be achieved by an ensemble that study together and perform together over several years), from a cast who move seamlessly between a wide range of characters, switching nationalities and genders with the utmost of care and respect. 

Strong performances from Carlin Monteiro, Chloe Gaskell, Christian Tomaszewski, David Doig, Kyle J. Kash, Jared Stevenson, Samuel Barbas, Richard Manganga, and Stephanie Bedford, whose passion and dedication make a great impact. There is also a very poignant cameo from the lovely Suzanna Sodano.

This show has an important premise and some amazing messages. While not easy viewing, this is very impressive theatre that will not disappoint - and it deserves much bigger houses.

Kimberley Shaw

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