This 1995 Review by Patricia Laughlin says it all…
There has always been a strong element of sexuality in the work of Graeme Murphy. Fornicon continues the theme, taking it somewhat farther than he’s gone before.
An author is in prison because of subversive writing. He suspects his wife, Helene, of infidelity, and is inspired to write a book, Fornicon, concerning the exploits of Don Giovanni and Helen of Troy, a great seducer and great seductress of historic literature. They meet and play sexual games together and with anyone else who takes their fancy. The stories of the two characters mingle, The Don seducing Zerlina, while Helene gets into the act with Masetto, and also keeps the flame alight with Paris.
There are lots of laughs in Fornicon – it certainly does not take itself seriously. Murphy sees sex as manipulative and power seeking, but above all as fun. In his program note, he says that AIDS has “brought about a moral cautionary tale to a lot of theater . . . but maybe the stage is one of the few places where you . . . can see the magic of wild abandon.“
There is a tender pas de deux for Zerlina and Masetto and a sensual one for Helene and Paris, but such scenes are outnumbered by orgiastic groups and those involvinq a crazed bishop with increasingly bizarre phallic fantasies.
Janet Vernon was marvelous as the wickedly seductive Helene. Mark Williams, a pop and rock singer who also moves well, made a believable character of The Don. Murphy himself was The Author, pulling the whole plot together. All the dancers performed with the skill and gusto thal is the hallmark of Sydney Dance Company.
Video Tab: Mark Williams performs Fornicon on live TV
Martin Armiger and Graeme Murphy
Music Commissioned Score
Martin Armiger and Mark Williams