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The Erotica Project – flaccidly disappointing



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 and leave.

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 loud enough.

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 encourage it).

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.

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