Southwark Playhouse – until 19 May
Reviewed by Claire Roderick
This remarkable show is the result of speaking with 10,000 children and young people aged between 6 and 22 from all around the UK to find out about the impact of pornography on their lives.
Pornography is a lot easier to access for the young nowadays, they don’t even have to actively search for it, with ads popping up on their devices. Whereas adults can go into panic mode at the thought of children accessing porn, Why is the Sky Blue? tackles the issue with careful thought, heart and understanding.
Abbey Wright, Shireen Mula and Matt Regan have collated the interviews and created a mix of comedy, interviews and songs that the talented cast, aged between 6 and 22, perform with a delightful confidence and light touch. The message isn’t preachy, it just presents the reality of the situation and the effect porn can have on young lives.
Masturbation, porn addiction, the representation of minorities and women in porn are all discussed with endearing but hard-hitting honesty; either through witty songs or monologues, or in interviews between 2 of the cast. The older female cast sing about porn being produced for the male viewer, and have a very uncomfortable conversation (for the audience) about whether you can trust a boy who watches porn, and the question of consent. The teenage boys compare porn to junk food, and the underlying message of porn not actually filling the need for human contact and real love is beautifully realised in a song about connections where the love and touch of a mother is celebrated.
Why is the Sky Blue? is uncomfortable to watch at times, but the content is so important and presented in such an accessible, humorous and entertaining way that you can’t help but love it and admire the cast. This is a show that needs to travel around the country to let young people know that they aren’t alone in their fears and worries, and one which will hopefully start many important conversations between the generations.