Review by Emma Whitelaw
FROM the writer of the sexually controversial film The
Secretary, comes Erin Cressida Wilson’s latest bombshell,
The Erotica Project.
Co-written with fellow American, Lillian Ann Sluglock, the show
features six stunning young actresses, scantily clad and telling
tales of their sexual exploits and desires.
This is all good and well, but unfortunately instead of evoking
any desire of the sexual kind, it evokes the desire to get up
That is not to say that there isn’t any talent to be found
within the production, quite the contrary, all six temptresses
are as equally entertaining as they are provocative.
Laura Rugg in particular was superb. Her expressionate delivery
of the explicitly coarse prose was at times hysterical and a credit
to her indeed.
Polly Henson, too, gave an excellent performance. Her transformation
from a 'white trash ho', complete with tank top, mini skirt and
southern drawl, into a power-dressing, money-hungry, yuppified
New Yorker was extraordinary.
I particularly enjoyed her rendition of 'Holiday in Brazil',
an anecdote of when she picked up a sexy Brazilian hooker on a
beach in Rio, only to fall in love after paying her $50 per hour
fee, to then find that her hot Brazilian lover is, in fact, the
respectable wife of a businessman.
To the writers credit, the play deals
with some very intricate philosophies. It is, indeed, provocative
but I would argue that this is more of the intellectual sense
than of the sexual.
Like the Brazilian hooker, when it comes to matters of the heart,
things are not always what they seem. The object of our desire
is quite often a great deal different to the actual person within.
This then begs the question of where fantasy ends and the disappointment
of reality begins. Could perhaps fantasy be more fun? And who
is to say that a fantasy cannot be as real as reality itself?
The play's themes are undeniably thought-provoking. Questions
like 'who has the power?' arise and it becomes obvious that the
writers certainly have a voice; I am just not sure it’s
There is so much potential in six sexually charged women; ready
to play the game of love by their own rules.
Yet they lose all power and credibility when they start screaming
about how much they wish they had an enormous schlong! (I always
thought the feminist intention was to abolish penis envy, not
Dirty four letter words certainly come to mind when discussing
The Erotica Project but I can’t guarantee they
will have any sexual connotation.
The Erotica Project by Lillian Ann Slugock & Erin
Cressida Wilson. Directed by Steven Dykes and Sarah Carpenter.
Starring Dionne Atwill, Marina Burton, Laura Churchill, Polly
Henson, Rebecca Pollock and Laura Rugg. January 11, 2005 to February
6 at Greenwich Playhouse.