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,