NSFW

Lucy Kirkwood

Not I Theatre

theSpace on Niddry St

From 04 August 2017 to 26 August 2017

Rating: ***

Review by Amy Yorston

Set within the struggling world of print media, this is a dark tale of exploitation, perseverance and hypocrisy.

Opening within the offices of lad-mag Doghouse, the banter is quick and the young team of employees keen to impress. Think The Thick of It or Absolute Power for general tone; the smug boss who is witty but also callous and a hard-nosed businessman.

The publication is focussed on attracting new readers but the unthinkable happens—they accidentally feature an under-age girl in the magazine. The fallout drives the main plot and brings into question the literal price of innocence.

Doghouse editor Aidan (Alexander Lopez) is obnoxious, brash and intimidating so when the girl’s father visits he does his best to coldly manipulate the situation to his liking.

The script touches upon plenty of themes including gender politics but two shine though: the fact that people will go to extraordinary lengths to justify themselves and that morals can temporarily be ignored in favour of career climbing opportunities, the neat climax perfectly demonstrating this point.

With desk, bookcase displaying back catalogues and flipchart featuring a brainstorm, the minimal but carefully chosen set creates exactly the right atmosphere.

The cast also contributes to the vibe projecting confidence, swagger, testosterone and sheer panic as they each fight for a place in the hierarchy. A capable ensemble, they are suitably believable as young hungry media types, each aware they are being used but trying to make it all count for the CV.

NSFW leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth, an acknowledgement that whilst it’s a comedy it’s probably nearer the truth that we’d like to think and a realisation that male and female perceptions of the body are shaped, honed and controlled.

A slick production of a thought-provoking play.