Disturbed drama

Welcome to Thonnet (Martin Blum)

Metro Arts, The Lumen Room

September 7 – 28

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“Welcome to Thonnet” is an unpleasant, disturbed one-man show created and performed by Sydney Theatre Company alumni Martin Blum. Unsuccessful Young Adult author Ray Living, is launching his new book, “Welcome to Thonnet”, on the unsuspecting public in a book reading unlike any other. What soon emerges is a creepily confronting show, the full shock of which isn’t revealed until he starts to read extracts from his inappropriate books. His latest literary ‘masterpiece’, for example, recounts the tale of a schoolboy’s recruitment into the world of pornographic movies.

“Welcome to Thonnet” is shocking, fearless and, generally speaking, very funny. But it is humour of the most uneasy kind. And you don’t get much more uncomfortable than graphic tales of pornography and prostitution. The character of Ray Living (eventually revealed as a convicted paedophile violating the terms of his parole) is a monstrous creation and his story is unsettling, not because Blum’s performance is bad, but because it is so uncomfortably real. Talent aside, however, this is theatre that is most definitely not for everyone. Its descriptions note that it contains material which may offend some audience members, and it comes with a strict R18+ rating, which is no surprise, given the filthy, explicit, sexual descriptions. I was also not surprised to see a number of people leave as the performance progressed. Indeed, I was tempted to join them.

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