The Zeros Keep Going
- Allan Radcliffe
- 26 January 2010
The numbers speak for themselves: worldwide, pornography is estimated to earn $3075.65 per second. The sexualisation of culture and the media is a burning issue, and one that has inspired the latest production by Glasgow-based theatre company Flatrate.
The Zeros Keep Going was set in motion when Flatrate’s founding member Stephen Redman picked up a copy of Sarah Daniels’ 1983 radical feminist exploration of pornography, violence and sexual abuse, Masterpieces.
‘It was an area I knew little about,’ says Redman. ‘That play was part of a debate on ‘snuff’ films [which represent the murder of women for sexual gratification] in England in the 1980s. We’ve taken those themes as a starting point from which to jump off into the modern day. While we were developing the piece all sorts of fresh issues emerged – is it acceptable for a man to watch porn if he’s in a relationship, for instance.’
The Zeros Keep Going explores how pornography impacts on lives, not just from a feminist point of view, but from the male perspective too. ‘It’s not a heavy play,’ insists Redman. ‘It’s quite light-hearted. But there will be moments when the audience will be pulled up by the balls.’
Flatrate, whose previous productions include a staging of David Mamet’s Reunion in a Glasgow flat, as well as the monthly cabaret night Initial Itch, aims to attract a new breed of audience member into the theatre.
‘My target audience is the kind of person who would go to see an indie film but wouldn’t necessarily go to the theatre because they’ve had a bad experience in the past,’ says Redman. ‘Audiences’ cynicism has risen and you have to find a new way of communicating with them that’s not too dogmatic.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 11–Sat 13 Feb