Pornography is everywhere, and much easier to access now than ever before by. This also means that it can be accessed by anyone, including minors. Which is what happened to mother of two; Lizi Patch when her eldest son informed her that he had watched some hardcore pornography after being sent a clip from a classmate.
The production starts off rather promising with a good stage layout, and Patch is definitely a very likable performer. As these are all her own experiences you immediately get the sense that this is a personal reflection, which is refreshing rather than seeing actors trying so hard to relate to characters.
One thing that became noticeable very early on is that Patch has a very light quality to her voice. Therefore, it became difficult to hear what she was saying at times, and I was sitting in the front row! Also, there were a couple of times in the production where the actors were talking over background music, again this was inaudible due to lack of vocal projection.
A special mention needs to go to James Taylor and Nick Lewis for creating a wonderful animation to go along with the show. During the production, Patch recalls becoming a mother to Arthur and Billy. These images are fantastically relayed to the audience through cartoon graphics which are projected onto a backdrop of blinds.
Some may say that the story takes too long to develop, however I personally enjoyed Patch recalling her memories of motherhood. It’s when the piece reaches its climax that I felt rather disappointed. I thought the issue of the child discovering the pornography would be dealt with in more of an exciting manner.
Although I can’t fault the acting or writing in this production, one question remained in my mind when leaving the theatre and that was ‘Is this a play’? And in my honest opinion it’s not. Patch has touched on something that definitely needs to be talked about, however I feel that this may work better as some form of workshop or roleplay. This is coming from a 20-something year old with no children - maybe I would have viewed it differently if I was a parent. It’s definitely got an audience, but I doubt a mass audience would be interested in Punching the Sky.
Reviewed by: Brian Madden
Reviewed on: 5th March 2016