Friday, 25 March 2016

Punching The Sky - Harrogate Studio Theatre, 24th March 2016

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Punching The Sky is a new play following a personal journey which involved a national media storm when a mother courageously blogged the experience when her 11-year-old son stumbled across online violent pornography.

The play had its beginning as Slap, a Scratch performance at West Yorkshire Playhouse's Playground in 2013 and subsequently developed in a 85 minute theatrical production. Punching The Sky explores the interest generated from the public and industries in the complex and contextual issues around online pornography.

Obviously pornography especially online is still very much in the media spotlight and debates and concerns continue with no hope of definitive answers and foregone conclusions.  The blame continues to shift between concerned parents, competitive Internet Service Providers and the lucrative porn industry with interventions from the media and the Government. The reasons seem to be subjective and the yearning for one to label what's right and what's wrong.

Lizi Patch sensitively and honesty addresses these issues via the story on stage.  The play looks at complexities of relationship with online pornography.  From an audio and visual charged stage setting, Patch narrates, through vivid animation and live acting, experiences of parenting and social peer pressures up to the fateful day.  The day where childhood innocence of the online world is destroyed with a violent introduction into the unknown adulthood.  This only takes a click on an internet link on a smart phone.

The experiences are shared in a fast paced setting.  This reminds the audience of the ever changing world one lives in particularly with the internet and technology.  Following the play one is left with more soul searching questions than answers. Patch quotes in the play, 'If we don't know him, how can we care?'.

This is an excellent, clever and very thought provoking production, Patch sincerely and energetically shares this human experience with support from Emily Dowson as Medea and Milton Lopes as Webster.  Their media and internet perceptions intertwine Patch's personal story.  Light hearted and down to earth too!

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