Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty and was born from the foam in the waters of Paphos, on the island of Cyprus. She supposedly arose from the foam when the Titan Cronus slew his father Uranus and threw his genitals into the sea.
How does this tie in with a play about consumer Gods you may ask? Aphrodite, played by Sam Donvito has found herself in Adelaide and is hoping to become “Insta-famous” by entering a beauty contest. Ellen Graham is Paige Burn, the hostess of the beauty contest.
Throughout the play, we are exposed to the mixed messages that we receive from advertisements, the ritual shaming of our bodies combined with the promise of everlasting allure and beauty by consuming the product.
Instagram is used as a metaphor for this false promise of love; we all know how fake most profiles are; yet we continue to believe the message. The promise of five million followers as the ultimate prize is ludicrous, yet so many in our current time hold great value on this treasure. As we see in the play, even this grand prize comes with harsh negative comments, which rattle even the bold, brash and confident Aphrodite.
Both performers were fully immersed into their respective roles as either the innocent yet voluptuous Aphrodite or the sensual yet shallow Paige Burn who seems clueless to Aphrodite’s goddess charms.
Aphrodite and the Invisible Consumer Gods is a lighthearted look at a serious topic of the objectification of women by advertising executives and is a performance that leaves the audience with questions on their minds long after the show is over.
In this modern age of unrealistic body expectations and Photoshopped images, it takes a play such as this to remind us that beauty comes from inside, not from the products that we consume.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The reviewer attended the performance on the 6th March. Aphrodite and the Invisible Consumer Gods runs at Raj House until 18th March.