‘Foreign Bodies’: sex and journalism in Mumbai

If you like your plays dark, intimate, confronting and dramatic, Sly Rat Theatre’s ‘Foreign Bodies’ will be right up your alley.

It’s the much-anticipated Australian premiere of Melbourne playwright Andy Harmsen and directed by award-winning Mockingbird Theatre Artistic Director Chris Baldock, in Richmond’s quirky The Owl and Cat Theatre.

The setting is Mumbai, India, and the tiny stage is initially shrouded in hanging silk scarves – even the air smells of spices and sweat. My plus one and I had just made ourselves comfy when a profusely perspiring, moaning man stumbled in, clutching his stomach, pulling down the scarves as he desperately searched for the nearest toilet, and the porn star he was due to interview.

So begins a sometimes amusing, but more often eye-opening tale of sexual exploration, fantasy, and realism. We are shown there is much more to the life of American porn star Arizona Snow (Marika Marosszeky) than meets the public eye. Martin (Alan Chambers), a young Aussie journalist finds this out as he probes her for more than just the porn star-standard answers to his interview questions. Set against the volatile backdrop of Mumbai, danger and violence of a political nature also come into play, as the two begin to develop an unlikely bond.

The Owl and Cat is an arty, no-fancy frills venue – tiny, but with a bar (important, of course) – and the intimate seating arrangement is old cushions around the stage, unless you pre-order a chair. But with the show at just 70 minutes long, the cushions do fine for most. And with only nine performances, it’s best to bag yourself tickets to this brave and commendable performance sooner rather than later.

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‘Foreign Bodies’ runs 23-31 October at The Owl and Cat Theatre. Purchase tickets now.
The venue is not accessible.

Warning: The play contains violence, nudity, sexually explicit action and language. Adults only.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of KE Weber Publicity.