Declan Greene is a writer and theatre-maker based in Melbourne. His plays include Pompeii, L.A. and Moth, and have been produced at Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Opera House, and The Storeroom. Alongside Ash Flanders, Declan runs D.I.Y. ‘trash-theatre’ group Sisters Grimm, and has co-devised and directed work including Little Mercy, Summertime in the Garden of Eden and The Sovereign Wife (NEON 2013).
What is 8GB of Hardcore Pornography about?
It’s about two unloved, unnamed, middle-aged people, who meet on an online dating website. She’s hiding a massive credit card debt, he’s hiding a porn addiction. After meeting online they try to start an affair, despite finding each others’ bodies totally repulsive. And then, from that point, there’s another ten or so scenes, where you watch them sink to some hideous, embarrassing lows —- and then, sink a little bit lower. It’s a romantic comedy.
When did you start writing plays?
I wrote my first play when I was about fifteen. It was set on a volcano, and starred me as myself. Artistically, I’ve been on a steady decline ever since.
What inspires you to write? What inspired you to write this play?
I never really know what initially inspires me. For this one, I think it was just a general terror of getting older. Eight Gigabytes is play about two straight people, but I think the worldview of the piece is still very much a gay man’s. It articulates that feeling once you hit gay-middle-age (which is, like… 30…), when your community decides you have less value as a sexual object and, therefore, as a person. You start to disappear, to become obsolete. A sensation I daresay a lot of straight people will be able to relate to…
What can an audience expect from a semi-staged reading of this play?
Two actors, reading from music stands. A sumptuous, sensuous feast for the eyes.
It’s a wild title – has anyone asked you to tone it down?
I find it weird that anyone would think it’s wild to use that word these days. In 2014 pornography isn’t a exactly covert form of media. It’s an enormous cultural force, and its acceptance into the mainstream has had a massive influence on our sexual imaginations – which this play tries to address. But anyway – no, I think the only person who’s ever asked me about changing the title was MTC’s Literary Manager Chris Mead. During the first development of the work, in 2012, he suggested that 8GB wasn’t really a lot of porn anymore — and that I should probably change it to a much higher volume. He’s probably right. I wouldn’t know. Naturally, I don’t look at porn.
Declan Greene’s 8GB of Hardcore Pornography is one of five plays included in Cybec Electric. The play will be presented at Southbank Theatre on 21 and 22 February, directed by Susie Dee and starring Heidi Arena and Andrew S. Gilbert.