Feeling a little apathetic? Award-winning media maker and performer Leon Ewing’s latest work is sure to get you thinking. “The show is a bit of a wake-up call,” he says. “It forces the audience to confront their complicity in systems of exploitation.” The dark comedy is set as a de-motivational seminar that blends current affairs and political satire into a PowerPoint presentation of internet meme, sexy dance moves and puppetry. “The main character is the embodiment of evil and is on an international speaking tour encouraging the audience to do more evil,” he explains.
The show has toured to all corners of Australia including Freemantle, Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane, but it was during a trip to Europe where the seed was planted. “I found a mask maker down a tiny alleyway in Florence and that mask totally drove the direction of the work from then on. The actual content of the work comes from my own nihilistic frustration at some of the humanist myths we live by.” Clearly this show is not for the faint-hearted and has been described as ‘genuinely disturbing’ and ‘a confrontational mind game’. Ewing himself describes the one-hour performance as “very fucking dark”. Would it be too twee to suggest the play was spawned from wanting to make a difference?
“So much of our information is either propaganda or commercially driven,” he continues. “The ideas behind activism are entirely ideologically driven and I think that’s dangerous – and a trap. When we can move beyond ideological thought there is much more potential for positive change.” Let’s just hope the road to hell isn’t paved with good theatrical intentions.
Sep 13-22, Pact Theatre, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville, $20-26, 9560 9167, 2012.sydneyfringe.com