BWW Review: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION at ASB Waterfront Auckland

BWW Review: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION at ASB Waterfront Auckland

MINDFOOD'S season of Auckland Theatre Company's Mrs Warren's Profession concluded with a strong applause from the opening night audience.

George Bernard's Shaw's play is a sharp comedy that rides on a social commentary based on his beliefs that prostitution is not about moral failure but economic necessity.

Awarding-winning director Eleanor Bishop (Boys 2017) is both a writer and director creating feminist theatre. Bishop has deconstructed and literally re-framed Shaw's work adding an extra character in the form of Kitty Warren's sister Liz who provides a sole and direct dimension from a sex worker's perspective.

Starting out as a contemporary 'kiwied-up' version of Shaw's play set in the Coromandel, we are introduced to Shaw's familiar characters and storyline.

The play then digresses and transforms into a more magnified and complex lens on the role and rights of sex workers in today's society. The set cleverly diminishes to a frame focussing on the plight of sex workers with the characters performing in and out of it.BWW Review: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION at ASB Waterfront Auckland

The literal use of smoke and mirrors, repetition and soundscape created a sensory tableau of representing the social distortion of respectability, acceptability and morality.

This work illuminates the hypocrisy that society accepts sexual exploitation within certain parameters but one cannot be overt about it.BWW Review: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION at ASB Waterfront Auckland

Shaw is known for his unique mix of intelligence, political commitment and stinging humour. He cleverly mixed sincerity, hyperbole, and satire to capture his audiences.

That mix isn't there for me in this adaptation and I was mostly underwhelmed and worked hard to remain engaged.

However, do bear in mind I was surrounded by audience attendees who were well engrossed.

I appreciated the intention but it fell short for me in terms of theatrical experience. I'm a fan of raw and edgy but the parts didn't come together to make a satisfying 'sum'.

Whatever responses this Mrs. Warren's Profession gets, it's sure to be nothing like the reaction to it when it was written. The original 1893 play was banned from professional theatres in the United Kingdom for almost 30 years because of its subject matter.

Before it was shut down in New York in 1905 after a single performance, it drew black-market ticket prices as people scrambled to see what all the fuss was about. BWW Review: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION at ASB Waterfront Auckland

Mrs Warren's Profession

Auckland Theatre Company

1-16 May

ASB Waterfront Theatre

Bookings: http://bit.ly/MWPTickets

Warning: Nudity, sexual themes and strong language



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