Presented by Sam Donvito
Reviewed 6 March 2018
When the Greek Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, lands in 2018 Adelaide, she’s in for a rude shock when she comes up against modern-day beauty standards and the bullying of consumerism.
Aphrodite is a sassy, confident and curvaceous Goddess who loves who she is, but, as she takes part in the Goddess of Australia 2018 competition, she soon realises that others in society do not feel the same way. The show’s protagonist finds herself up against a wall of Twitter trolls, body-shaming competition hosts and the overwhelming pressures of a consumerism-obsessed society, but will the ‘Invisible Consumer Gods’ get the better of her?
Overall, the message of the show is overtly positive with its criticisms of society’s body-shaming and bullying and promotion of body positivity and self-love. It also satirises the ridiculousness of modern-day advertising through fake commercials promoting chocolates that will give you an orgasm, quick and easy plastic surgery and sexy fast-food. Unfortunately, though, the execution isn’t quite there with actors stumbling over lines, awkward moments of silence and a performance that feels disjointed.
Writer and lead performer, Sam Donvito, aims to convey a body-positive image for women in her audience, challenging society’s messages of perfection, un-attainable beauty and gender. These are common themes throughout her creative work and are influenced by her experiences working in the beauty industry, and were previously explored in her auto-biographical, one-person show, ‘The Appointment Stories from the Salon”. She has also studied West African and Middle Eastern dance styles which make an unexpected but exotic appearance within the show.
Although somewhat hit-and-miss, with more time and polishing, Aphrodite and the Invisible Consumer Gods could become an enjoyable show with a powerful message that will stick with audiences all too aware of the pressures of modern consumerist society.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 2.5
Venue: The BoardRoom at RAJOPOLIS at Raj House, 54 Hyde St, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Season: 6 – 18 March
Duration: 50 min
Tickets: $18 – $25