Pudenda is the agenda of podcast game guru, Guy Dewitt. The ‘game’ he plays and espouses is the conquest of women without emotional attachment, no strings seduction and sex. It’s all about the hunt.
Van Badham’s play, Banging Denmark, begins with this brash braggadocio preaching his male supremacist cant in rambunctious rant, convinced he is the envy of every penis. To some, his come on is a turn on. To others, a definite and emphatic turn off.
Of the latter most assuredly is Ishtar Madigan, a feminist academic who has been successfully sued by Dewitt for defamation, left destitute, living in her office and subsisting on cold cucumbers and bathing with wet wipes. Her benefactor is a former student, PhD and black belt martial artist, Denyse, the not so obscure object of desire of mathematician, Toby Bello, a desire sorely not reciprocated.
Unrequited attraction rears its head in another strand of the narrative when Jake Newhouse is smitten by Danish librarian, Anna. Immune to his dubious charm and sham debonair, Anna fuels Jake’s desire for carnal conquest into all encompassing obsession. He hatches a game plan to bribe Ishtar to act as go between. Ethics aside, she is desperate for the money. Turns out Anna is a big fan of Ishtar’s writing.
Sarah Greenwood plays Ishtar in manic mode. This feminist isn’t as much about breaking glass ceilings as theatrical fourth walls. With this choice, Banging Denmark becomes relentless and exhausting farce.
Matt Abotomey as Jake Newhouse AKA Guy Dewitt is suitably slick, salacious and slimy; limber with louche moves and lascivious loquaciousness, matching and mirroring Ishtar’s annoying and aggravating pitch, although he tempers the bombast considerably when not “performing” the rock around the cock shock jock.
Emelia Corlett as Anna is a crystalline, disciplined, clear contrast to Ishtar, her cool enigmatic creation a scene stealing turn, evolving from gloved guardian of the bookshelf to conquering heroine of the bed sheet.
Kandice Joy and Gerry Mullaly bring up the rear as Denyse and Toby, the former tainted by treason, the other tempered by reason.
To love. Patient and kind. But don’t dis the Dane!
New Theatre presents
by Van Badham
Director Madeleine Withington
Venue: New Theatre | 542 King St, Newtown NSW
Dates: 20 - 30 September 2023
Tickets: $25 – $20
Part of the 2023 Sydney Fringe Festival