Edinburgh Fringe 2011
In an hour of intense comedy and confronting audience interaction, New York improvisor, Nathan Phillips, works the crowd with the intention of having sex, on stage, with one of them as the finale to the show …
Nathan Phillips is on a mission to find and seduce a member of his audience and have sex with them right there on the stage. How does he intend to do this? By asking the audience collectively to come up with a list that defines ‘sexy’ and then spending the next hour using all his talents, charms, experience, and every other trick that he can come up with, proving that he is everything on the list.
This is highly structured improvisation by someone who can only be described as a comedy improv master. Interacting with members of the audience and seamlessly building into his routines, which feature everything from scientific presentations, to poetry, to erotic literature, dancing, and serenading that special lady in the crowd (with the rest of the audience as back-up singers) … all the while building toward the climax (pardon the pun) of the show – and yes, an inflatable mattress is included!
He never actually manages to achieve his ultimate goal of having sex with someone (or at least, not in front of us), but he does manage to seduce his audience with his comedy and skill. From his presentation on penis types, to the demonstration of his classic dance moves, to his constant interaction with the crowd … the comic expertise of Phillips keeps his audience with him all the way.
However, the hugely interactive nature of this show requires a full and truly participative audience to reach its maximum potential. On the night I attended, most of the chairs were full, but the space seemed cavernous because there was room for so many more. Audience members also seemed a little reluctant at times … or perhaps were they feeling shy? Something as simple as getting everyone to sing back-up to his ‘serenade’ proved harder than it should have … but then again, maybe the words “woobee-woobee-woobee-woo” were a little difficult to remember?
The improvisational talent and comedic skill of this performer is worth seeing. In the bar after the show, fellow audience members were quoting lines from the poetry and recalling snippets of the erotic literature … all having appreciated the balls (again pardon the pun) of this performer!
I would love to see this show again, but as part of a much larger audience that this show deserves.
Four stars: Highly Recommended.