Sick, twisted and funny are not normally adjectives used to describe the same show but they are perfect for the Silo Theatre's latest offering, My Brother and I are Pornstars.
The Silo may be the home of Auckland's edgiest theatre but that doesn't mean it can't market responsibly. In case the name isn't enough of a clue, My Brother and I are Pornstars, written by Jackie van Beek, Jonathan Brugh and Jodie Molloy, has an R18 rating and the flyers clearly state the show contains hyper mania, violence, nudity and Christian porn.
The synopsis reads like a depressing art house movie - a brother and sister, abandoned by their porn-star parents and trapped in a basement, decide their only chance of survival is to create and sell their own incestuous videos. Strangely, it's not depressing but exhilarating and very funny, thanks to the sick jokes and superb comedic skills of van Beek and Brugh who play the siblings.
The pair are not only excellent character actors but are also skilled at physical comedy, deadpan wit and straight acting. Their skills are best demonstrated in a couple of nude scenes that combine theatre trickery and puppetry for unforgettable effects.
There is some nice work from the set and lighting designers. Trygve Wakensaw's moody lighting perfectly supports the hyper-reality of the story while the set is flexible enough to change from sleazy to playful and claustrophobic to expansive.
At first the story feels like a series of stand-up comedy skits that take outrageous pot shots at topics as diverse as bodily functions, religion, porn, family bonds and justice. But it is worth sticking with the twists and turns, as it is actually a meaty story with its own crazy logic.
Madness and dysfunctional relationships are pretty standard fodder for theatre and too often are presented in a simplistic way. My Brother and I are Pornstars is clever and inventive theatre that will make you laugh out loud while you question your own perceptions of reality.
*What: My Brother and I are Pornstars
*Where: Silo Theatre
*When: Until September 3