Brighton Fringe 2009
The Live Sex Show
Venue: The Brunswick
Festival: Brighton Fringe
A comedy show that portrayed different sides to the world of sex and relationships as we know them today using various sketches that were different and yet had a familiar feel to them via the use of repeatition to link each sequence. A very enjoyable evening.
The first thing we noticed when entering the space was that the curtains were completely pulled over and that the tables were arranged in a cross between cabaret and theatre style – that is, tables in a couple of rows at the front and then rows of chairs going back. This was an unusual set up, but it added to the anticipation of what was going to happen. It also created a very interesting dynamic in the sense of being intimate and yet being separated from the action, which added to the surprise element.
I had a feeling we were in for a treat when the lights went low and the Grange Hill theme tune began. Immediately we were treated to a rather unusual sex education lesson where the pupils indicated by the teacher turned out to be more experienced than they let on…extremely subtle humour was used and although it took a while to warm up, the tone was set for a very enjoyable evening.
Sketches that took place explored sex in different contexts and situations that you wouldn’t expect. Highlights included the Street Hate sketch, a ‘Neighbours’ spoof (renaming it Cavemen!), artists’ attitudes towards sex in art, a dirty old man sketch and to top it all off, a Victorian approach to sex. The line that stole it for me was ‘Husband!’ ‘Yes Wife?’ ‘Shouldn’t we be in the same bed?’ Absolutely classic line!
Unfortunately there were times when sketches fell flat in terms of attack, energy and conviction in the writing. Comedy needs to be handled well and is difficult to master at the best of times. If they had had the conviction of their instincts for the majority of the sketches, then the pace would have picked up and more laughs would have been got from the audience (it was a tough crowd that night). Occasionally there were also times when the writing could have been tightened up as well to make it more sharp and quick witted.
Despite this, the show was a really enjoyable evening and all who saw it liked all the antics on stage. I must say that the show was not at all what I personally expected it to be in a good way. Do not be mislead by the title, it’s not all ‘live sex’ in the physical context, but what you do see is classy, sophisticated and experimental. It reminded me of The Goon Show and Monty Python in feel due to the fun and creative aspects to it. With a little further development, this could turn out to be a spectacular show in the making.