This dark comedic play is an astute examination of capitalism and casual racism — and will have you in stitches.
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In terms of products that are equally cruel and stupid, skin-lightening cream would have to be up there. And now, thanks to Anchuli Felicia King's White Pearl, it's now also brutally satirised.
Fictional cosmetics company Clearday, based in Singapore, turns a very tidy profit exploiting customers' insecurities about the way they look. When one of its ads for skin-lightening products goes viral, the disapproving eye of the digital world settles on the company's pristine open-plan office. Amidst the buck-passing and fallout containment, a transformation begins to occur — what playwright King has referred to as "the shift from socialised hysteria to primal hysteria".
With comedy that's blacker than bitumen and grimier than a skip in the CBD, White Pearl is here to raise conversations regarding casual racism and corporate culture. It's unlikely you needed another reason to hate on late-stage capitalism, but King will make you laugh while you do.
The play is a co-production between Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta and Sydney Theatre Company, directed by Priscilla Jackman and showing at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta.
White Pearl will be showing every Tuesday through Saturday, from Saturday October 26 to Saturday November 9.
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Arts & Entertainment
Saturday, October 16 - Saturday, October 16