Out and About

Gasping at the New Theatre

I went for my very first play yesterday. [Yes, it only took 27 years]

I watched ‘Gasping‘ at the New Theatre at Newtown. It has been written by Ben Elton of the Blackadder fame. Lockheart industries is looking to market the next-big-thing to make a profit. An executive at the Lockheart organisation with a go-for-it attitude, Phillip, comes up with a brilliant idea to market — designer air. He comes up with a ‘Suck & Blow‘ machine which helps people purify the air they breathe in, thereby giving them a higher quality of living. As they market it to the upper classes, the children and young adults and finally, to everyone, the machine becomes a hit and profits rise dramatically for Lockheart industries. However, soon people start to hoard their supplies of air for a rainy day resulting in a drop in the oxygen levels. At this point, corporate greed takes over as new schemes start to charge peoplefor the air and to invade third world countries for their air eventually culminating to a climactic ending while the world struggles to get air.

This is a brilliant satire by Ben Elton looking at corporate greed and the advertising industry and how it makes a mockery of us. For me personally, given my disdain for the advertising industry and the corporate world, this was the perfect play to watch. The idea of selling air is not very far fetched when you see how the corporate world and advertising industry together have managed to make a market out of another natural resouce — water. After all, what you can get for free from your taps, some people still fall prey to buying a bottle of about $3 worth of water everytime. The manner in which the advertising industry targets you with slogans implying you ‘need’ something because you are worth it is well portrayed through the play. And of course, how the corporate dogs will stoop to any level and have no morals when it comes to making profits at the cost of the general public.

The performance by the cast of 6 actors was also excellent. The cast included Alan Faulkner as Sir Chifley Lockheart (the CEO), Oliver Wenn as Phillip, Richard Cox as Sandy, Julia Kennedy Scott as Kirsten (the marketing manager), Samantha Roylance as Miss Hodges and the environment minister, and Natalie Rees as the weather girl and a reporter. I have never seen or heard of any of them before but they were all really good in their parts.

All in all, I really enjoyed my very first play. And you can bet I’ll be going again. Especially to this venue where the tickets were a mere $28. To those in the Sydney area, do go and watch this if you enjoy satires.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Gayatri_atlanta
    November 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I remember my first play – at a place called St. Andrews Auditoriam. it was a musical!

  • Reply
    Gayatri_atlanta
    November 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I remember my first play – at a place called St. Andrews Auditoriam. it was a musical!

  • Reply
    Ava Suri
    November 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Sounds interesting.  Lucky you.  Its been ages since I saw a play.  Almost 25 years. hehe.

  • Reply
    Ava Suri
    November 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Sounds interesting.  Lucky you.  Its been ages since I saw a play.  Almost 25 years. hehe.

  • Reply
    Kirby Meehan
    November 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I can’t believe it took you so long to go to the theatre! You bad girl you.

    Yep, this sounds like typical Ben Elton. I remember watching his Popcorn at a theatre in Perth – also great – and always loved Blackadder. I never thought much of his novels or his stand up, though. Isn’t that odd?

  • Reply
    Kirby Meehan
    November 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I can’t believe it took you so long to go to the theatre! You bad girl you.

    Yep, this sounds like typical Ben Elton. I remember watching his Popcorn at a theatre in Perth – also great – and always loved Blackadder. I never thought much of his novels or his stand up, though. Isn’t that odd?

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I remember there used to be several plays in Bombay but for some reason I never ended up attending any! Oh well Gayatri…better late than never I suppose. I don’t think I have even been to a musical…would have loved to go to Mary Poppins but they are so damn expensive!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I remember there used to be several plays in Bombay but for some reason I never ended up attending any! Oh well Gayatri…better late than never I suppose. I don’t think I have even been to a musical…would have loved to go to Mary Poppins but they are so damn expensive!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 30, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Ah you are as bad as me Ava…it was a good time…I must say, you have to admire the actors given that there are no takes or anything of that sort and they have to learn all their lines perfectly! Must be hard work!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 30, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Ah you are as bad as me Ava…it was a good time…I must say, you have to admire the actors given that there are no takes or anything of that sort and they have to learn all their lines perfectly! Must be hard work!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 30, 2011 at 1:04 am

    It’s disgraceful that I haven’t watched a play till now Kirby *hangs head in shame*

    I’m going to be on the lookout for Popcorn now…I haven’t read any of his novels so can’t comment on that. And you may not be the only one not liking his stand up…his show on Channel 9 earlier in the year which was a bit like stand up tanked miserably! Again, didn’t watch it though (way past my bedtime of 9)

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    November 30, 2011 at 1:04 am

    It’s disgraceful that I haven’t watched a play till now Kirby *hangs head in shame*

    I’m going to be on the lookout for Popcorn now…I haven’t read any of his novels so can’t comment on that. And you may not be the only one not liking his stand up…his show on Channel 9 earlier in the year which was a bit like stand up tanked miserably! Again, didn’t watch it though (way past my bedtime of 9)

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