Autoerotic explores the ups and downs of pay for play, which seems to be a common theme in Fringe shows this year, but should you pay for this play?
Should you see it?
Autoerotic is, at its basic nature, about a rich man who will pay a sex worker handsomely to play house with him and be at his beck and call at any and all times of the day. Of course any relationship, even one in which sex is exchanged for money, is not as simple as it might appear on a surface level.
Autoerotic is an interesting show. I love the voyeuristic nature in which this play was presented. We know little about either character, the only judgement we can build on either of these two is based on their exchanges with each other. It makes them intriguing and slightly mysterious.
The play ends up, unfortunately, dragging with a meandering exposition by a very unnecessary narrator who would break the fourth wall on multiple occasions to tell the audience how to imagine the set and how to feel about the characters. At one point a conversation suggests that this happens because the playwright is more concerned with the audience than with his characters and plot.
My biggest problem with Autoerotic is that the female character is meant to be empowered, or empowering for others, yet the show really places her in a marginalized role of manipulation and victimization without much of a voice. Perhaps the point of the play was to show the injustice of the woman not being given a true and proper voice, but I feel like the play would have truly flourished if each character was given an equal footing.
Autoerotic attempts to reconcile this with a perfectly delivered monologue giving the female character all the power near the end, but it felt a little too late.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Did you find the female voice marginalized as well? What were you able to connect with in this show? Join the discussion and tell me what you think in the comments below!