Review: TG’s NSFW – mature in more ways than one

Review: TG’s NSFW – mature in more ways than one

Advertised as a ‘play all about boobs’ by director, Liv Morrissey, the intellectual integrity of TG’s ‘NSFW’ was queried, however the show was a treat to watch with some poignant and current topics dealt with in a composed, mature and thought-provoking way.

The story follows the two publishing houses: ‘Doghouse’, a lad’s mag that gets in a sticky situation with an underage model (albeit unbeknownst to them) and ‘Electra’ a women’s publication, preoccupied with perfection. The story reveals all too familiar character traits in the office employees – ‘Charlotte’s just grateful to have a job, Sam’s been asked to sell more than his body and Aidan’s trying to keep his magazine from going under’. Yet, stereotypes aside, everyone is trying to stay afloat and NSFW offers a comic yet accurate insight into the mayhem of media.

The attention to detail could not go unmissed: multiple flats featuring images of past front pages for each respective magazine outlined the perimeter of the stage of the Banham theatre, and the place was littered with props all perfectly suited to each respective ‘publication’ (from a darts board in the ‘Doghouse’ HQ to fairy lights spelling out “love” in the ‘Electra’ office).

‘Sidi, Lawrence and Harrison all portrayed their outlandish characters with an endearing vulnerability: a sense that they all thought they would be better off out of the ‘Doghouse’.’

Starting in ‘Doghouse’, the expected chaos of life in the press ensued, with the actors taking a while to fully settle into the performance, but dedicated nonetheless. Will Sidi’s energy was unbounded and his character somewhat stole the show, giving the audience glimmers of hope as he fumbled his way around the corrupt publications. Faye Lawrence’s Charlotte was equally as enamouring, her determination yet also conflicting loyalties shining through. Similarly, Alfie Godrey’s Aidan was a real can of worms: as editor of the lads mag he had a certain persona and demeanor to sustain, but as the plot thickened and the heartfelt contradictions of Luke Charlton’s Mr. Bradshaw came to light, Godfrey adopted a raw humanity. Greg Harrison’s Rupert was the token lost-cause posho, slowly being tugged down from his high horse by having to take part in ‘man challenges’ and then ‘what it feels like for women’, including meat-only diets and botox. Sidi, Lawrence and Harrison all portrayed their outlandish characters with an endearing vulnerability: a sense that they all thought they would be better off out of the ‘Doghouse’. Here we make the transition, 9 months later to ‘Electra’ – the spotless set and immaculately presented characters a stark contrast. However, as Tara Blackburn’s Miranda set in motion in interview with Sidi’s Sam, the differences between the magazines were obliterated. Blackburn’s maturity and (again) troubled character was pristine, and she was completely beguiling, yet also marvellously supported by the ever-adorable Sam.

Fundamentally, this play was an accurate observation of power-games and privacy in the media and the personalities behind it, but done in a very conscientious way.

Flora Tiley

(Image courtesy of Theatre Group’s Facebook)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked. *