The eerie, hallowed halls of the Montekristo estate create the perfect setting for DripFeed, the latest production by Studio18. The company, led by Jean-Marc Cafa, is well known for the work they do for children and young people in theatre.
But this production is somewhat different. Intended for audiences over the age of 17, and with some rather suggestive marketing as seen below, DripFeed is a new script written by UK-based artist Rebecca Brewer that is no child’s tale.
The play is a slightly absurd, but painfully accurate, exploration of feminism in the movie world, and our understanding of the ‘strong female character’
It follows a group of Hollywood professionals as they work on adapting popular kids novel ‘The Eventual Education of Olive Oliver’ into a box office hit. And obviously, all the main players are there; the quirky but clever female novelist, the boss bitch producer, the asshole male director, and the sexy movie starlet.
But of course, none of these people are really their own people. The men at the top of the hierarchy are orchestrating everything, as is the case for most people in this male-dominated world. And these men are doing all they can to appease a group of people who are starting to get a bit too rowdy; the feminists. The company is producing a film with a smart, strong, female lead, to make the feminists feel like they are being heard.
“I don’t think adding a few ‘fucks’ and hair-flips make a compelling female character, no.”
The irony is that the director, depsite being honoured for his inclusion of strong female characters in his films, is very much a misogynistic prick. But it’s ok, right? Because the main actress of his film is this total bad-ass feminist chick who started the #noprincess trend and is getting girls all over the world to stand up for themselves. So it’s still a feminist film, even though the director’s favourite pastime is objectifying women.
And this all leads to audience to find themselves questioning who the real hero of the story is
The novelist may have had good intentions, but she still sold her work to a big money-minded company. The producer might be a great example of a strong woman in the work place, but she only cares about pleasing her bosses. The director might be revered as a great feminist ally, but he doesn’t respect women in real life. And the actress might have started a global online feminist trend, but she’s still a puppet at the hands of those in power.
DripFeed makes you feel like a fly on the wall with the chance to get an inside look at what goes on inside a big Hollywood business, and question everything you know about the movie industry. The cast deliver powerful portrayals of three-dimensional, grown-up characters that are a far cry from the child-friendly ones they’ve treated us to before.
Under the direction of Jean-Marc Cafa and Andre Agius, Studio18 transform the Montekristo tunnels into a world were free will is a myth, reality is objective, and you can’t trust anyone. Although to be honest, that sounds a lot like the world outside of Montekristo too.
And also, there are a couple of pretty sexy scenes in there that had me sitting on the literal and metaphorical edge of my seat. So if that’s something you’re into, I just thought I’d let you know.
DripFeed is on from the 25th to the 28th April, at 8pm. For more information and to book your tickets, check out their Facebook event.