~The Vaults Theatre, Waterloo- 16th March 2018~
The premise is….”ALL YOU NEED TO MAKE A MOVIE IS ….A GIRL AND A GUN.” The play is written and performed by Brazilian born Diplomat’s daughter, Louise Orwin, who is an acclaimed researcher of the truth and is a surrealist theatre maker. The play begins with a male actor selected from the audience who is put through an ominously intimate stage script with an interactive live video performance running throughout the show. Playing great old school music and dancing seductively to Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made For Walking,” Louise invites us in to make our own conclusions about “A Girl And A Gun.” Her assumed “man chosen from the audience” is in reality an actor who, with incredible dexterity plays stooge to a little minx, resulting in a clever but unique and mesmerising interaction with her ostensibly ‘one-off’ co-star. In the sixties, French New Wave film-maker, Jean- Luc Godard once famously claimed that all he needed to make the movie was a girl and a gun. In this performance, Louise asks the question- has today’s media & portrayal of women and violence in films positively moved forward, or was Godard right given the recent unveiling of the underhand behaviour of a powerful media mogul in the news acting as a catalyst in a counter- productive manner.
In order to explore this theme, Louise ingeniously involves both audience and male actor as guinea pigin an intimate exposé of male consciousness which shifts from light to dark bordering on love, control and masochism. There’s humour with huge giggles and wry eyes cast down in surprise with paradoxical elements of cruelty and beguiling flirtatiousness causing the audience to ‘willing suspend their disbelief’ according to the feelings these actions arouse. Is this really a love story? Or rather is it an exploration into why movie heroines need to tote a gun to attract attention, and also why do we, the audience take it for granted. The question is left for the audience to answer themselves. Do we challenge the original Godard quote or do we leave the answer open to debate as Louise Orwin does in “A Girl And A Gun” where the lone cowboy is left onstage at curtain call wondering who really is the winner in this contemporary take on gun-toting screen stars? My suspicion is that the lady wins in this particular performance, but the gent hasn’t quite realised it yet.
As the gun-toting anti-hero of this particular show, Louise’s co-star puts in a memorable performance with just the right amount of menace and puffed-up macho panache as the comical cowboy she either chooses to love, hate or hero-worship- the conclusion is left for you to decide. He did announce his name, but it was lost in translation as it was belittled by the provocative Miss Orwin slinking her wiles at every opportunity. We still watch with wonder and awe whilst trying to figure out what it means to be an anti-hero who comes up against a gun-toting mix and verbal destroya.
My expectation of the evening was fulfilled in Louise Orwin as a force to be well and truly watched , and reckoned with. Her place as a Playwright Actress is important for the immediate future of alternative theatre.
Written by contributor- Marilyn Virginia