Natalie Palamides: Nate 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 15, Aug 2018
Commendations to Ms Palamides for creating a show and a character which explore complex issues in an interesting and engaging way. The show is intelligent and thought-provoking. But I wanted to walk out in protest so much I was almost on my feet, to hell with the review.
Consent’s a major theme in the show. The audience is asked at one point what they think of a particular incident, a direct invitation to get involved and think, rather than just watch. I think that it’s not truly consent if it’s reluctantly given, everyone watching is adding pressure, and the character asking seems to expect you’ll say yes. This part, right at the start, was really uncomfortable: I desperately wanted someone to say no.
But they didn’t, and it passed and the show continued on in its display of twisted masculinity, pitiful because Nate isn’t a bad person, just badly socialised. There is enough funny in here to justify being in the comedy section: slapstick elements, caricatures of masculine behaviour. But if we’re laughing at it, are we complicit? That’s what the show returns to repeatedly: present something to laugh at alongside the questions of whether or not we should be laughing.
Ms Palamides plays Nate, a smorgasbord of masculine tropes with underlying sensibility and humanity. His girlfriend broke up with him, and he’s struggling to understand why. From this fruitful premise comes the show; a discourse (but definitely not conclusion) on cultural expressions of masculinity and consent.
Not an easy watch, but one people were still talking about several streets away.
Reveiwed by Laura
Pleasance Courtyard, 18:00