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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Nicola Macri: Single Entendre

Nicola Macri

Genre: Comedy, LGBTQIA, LGBTQIA+, One Person Show

Venue: Greenside @ Riddle’s Court


Low Down

In this one-woman solo comedy show, Australia’s Premiere Asexual comedian makes the case for de-sexualizing language.


Sleeping with someone. Thinking in the shower. Having a lovely hot sausage. Netflix and chill. Nicola Macri, known as Australia’s Premiere Asexual comedian (“which is to say, I’m not known”) outlines an entire day in terms that are used as sexual innuendo, without even trying. Over the hour, Macri takes us through the language of asexuality (“are you a plant?” ask nerds of the moniker), the language of innuendo (re: hot sausage), and the language of Love Shack to drive home her main point: language is too sexed up. 

The first part of the show is about what asexuality is and what it is not. For example, it is not a moral choice or a lack of drive or a response to trauma. Asexuality also come with its own sort of language, one Macri argues may be a little too hyperspecific. She runs off her classification within this vernacular, and when the audience is unable to follow, she says she’s glad because if we did understand “I’d be very uncomfortable with the amount of information that you have about me”. The second, and main part of the show is about how sex has infiltrated every part of our language and how impossible it is to carry on a conversation without having a double entendre or two. Every song, film, and book is filtered through the language of sex. Even love has been taken over, as lover and making love are sexual terms. Macri’s ideas on why this might be and why it ought to change are well formed, expertly explained, and pretty darn convincing.

Macri’s performance is warm and inviting, and although her arguments are made intelligently and with plenty of back-up, it never feels like a lecture as much as a chat with a pal who occasionally dances around as the Spectre of Sex, here to ruin every conversation with its ubiquity. She is natural and puts things in ways that are easy to understand, and even easier to laugh at, and you feel a gentle bit of world-expanding. It is difficult to do a solo show so packed with information without it turning into a TED talk, but Macri walks the tightrope admirably. In the final third, Macri argues that human communication is already hard enough without all the euphemisms, making her case with two fantastic food-based examples that are bound to feel familiar. 

If you know an asexual person and are not yourself, you will leave this show understanding them better. If you are an asexual person, you will nod and laugh and have a grand old time, as did a couple in the audience I was part of. And if you haven’t even heard of an asexual person, well, you probably need this show the most. One thing is for certain: once Nicola Macri opens your ears to how pervasive sexuality is in our everyday speech, you will not be able to stop noticing.