Venue: Kings Cross Hotel (Kings Cross NSW), Sep 25 – 29, 2018
Playwright: Sam Donvito
Director: Christopher Bond
Cast: Sam Donvito, Ellen Graham
The goddess of all things beautiful and fecund, Aphrodite arrives in Sydney, and even she is no match for the misogyny that rules this town. Guided by unbridled desire, Aphrodite finds herself vulnerable and exposed to the pervasive commodification of everything that relates to femininity and sex. From chocolate and selfies, to beauty pageants and cosmetic surgery, Aphrodite’s attempts at experiencing life as an earthling in Sydney, all involve attempts to degrade and humiliate her, and in Sam Donvito’s Aphrodite And The Invisible Consumer Gods, we watch the very thing we consider to be normal everyday life, determined to put the goddess through a relentless process of self-loathing.
It is an exuberant presentation, featuring two spirited performers, Donvito and Ellen Graham on a bare stage, with only their bodies occupying our gaze. Their communication style is admirably bold, for the urgent and unequivocal message that they wish to convey. As Aphrodite, Donvito is seductive and mischievous, and as Paige Burn beauty pageant cum reality show host, Graham is beguilingly malicious. Aphrodite And The Invisible Consumer Gods may not be a subtle work, but what it has to say, is substantial and pertinently consequential.
Men have always sought to control our bodies and our very existence. Industrialisation has channelled that ancient chauvinism into the creation of endless superfluous wants that have overwhelmed and contaminated our lives, by selling to us, an interminable sense of inadequacy. We respond by living in a constant state of commercial consumption, acquiescing to the every demand of capitalism as shaped by its sexist foundations. We spend money to feel better about ourselves, but that money circulates and returns as a further haunting that tells us, we are as yet incomplete. When the goddess concedes her power, a vacuum is formed that nefarious parties will seek to fill. Most of us however, can reclaim that magic at any time, and make ourselves whole again.