Fringefeed | 24 Jan 2020


The Innocent Pawn

A desolate wasteland sets the backdrop for this ecstatic, exuberant, and at times discomforting romp through the history and impact of porn. Exploring a weighty and important theme this play by The Actors’ Hub is visceral, evocative, immersive, and intense.

At 90 minutes it’s one of the longer theatre shows in the festival and they’ve certainly packed it with action.

A captivating dystopia, eclectic costumes, and gritty set are the hallmarks of this production. Highlights include powerful testimonials, playful risk taking from the performers, and creative use of technology to elicit emotional responses.

The Innocent Pawn takes the audience on a debauched and discomforting ride.

The tightly woven movements of performers serve to lift the energy of the show early on as they swarm in cacophony, however as the show barrels on, cracks in the ensemble undermine impact and reveal an uncertainty that belies the strength of the piece.

Similarly the captivating world created early on is inhabited for only a short time before being abandoned for data, information, and a confusing mix of personal, professional, and detached testimonies delivered one after the other with diminishing effect.

What could be a powerful conversation starter is derailed by trying to address more and more questions in an expansive topic.

The design of this show masterfully sets the tone for the piece, with the graveyard of stuff carefully curated to evoke a sense of the characters emotional state.

The costumes are flamboyant in the extreme and ground the actors in their surreal surroundings. The use of screens and devices furthers the plot and makes plain through the audiences lived experience the feelings and motivations of the players on stage.

The Innocent Pawn presents a lot of conversation starters and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

About the Author

Michael Nield

Michael Nield is captivated by theatre, circus, and dance. Having studied contemporary performance in Perth and New York, he is dedicated to exploring new stories and storytelling forms. Michael is excited to be joining FRINGE WORLD to share unexpected and exceptional shows with the people of Perth.

Ticket Price 18 - 25

End Date 16 Feb 2020

  • Ticket Price 18 - 25
  • End Date 16 Feb 2020
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Really challenging your belief system. Took me back to a few Black Mirror which just left me aghast ant the ending.

Reviewed by cat 2020

The Innocent Pawn

It is rare to find a piece of theatre so deeply affecting. This play stayed with me for days after I'd seen it. The actors' passion for the cause is infectious, they create an immersive experience of physical theatre with surprising twists and turns. This is an important message told with eloquence. While the subject matter can be intense, it is handled with respect whilst maintaining a sense of play and humor. Whatever your standpoint on pornography, you are guaranteed a powerful and inspiring night out with this piece of verbatim theatre. The Innocent Pawn starts the conversation about our toxic culture ... Will we continue it before our society gets to checkmate?

The Empire

I was captivated from start to finish. This is a fast-paced, Netflix-style piece of theatre, unlike anything else I've seen at Fringe. For audience members looking for a bridge from film to theatre, this is the show for you. The play tackles themes of a technological takeover, and the dangers of power. Although set in a futuristic Australia, this show feels immediate and relevant to our world today. The story had me gripped on the edge of my seat, but I never could have guessed the twist at the end. Shock value 10/10.

Reviewed by Ava Lyas 2020