Prague Fringe 2012
My First Ten Sexual Failures is a one-man show by Andy Tomazic, offering a look back over his various misadventures in romance, with a distinctly wistful air of missed opportunities. Incorporating music and physical performance, including our host stripping down to his underwear and roaming through the audience, the show moves at a quick pace from one sorry tale to another, with a high quota of one-liners thrown in. But beneath it all, the story was actually surprisingly chaste – the title and opening had given the impression of a bawdy tale about sex, but in fact there was no discussion of sex at all, just a lot of observations about coffee shops.
Andy Tomazic is a British actor and performing artist who put together My First Ten Sexual Failures as a one man show in an attempt to forget everything he was taught at drama school, and to be ‘honest and truthful’ instead. The show is making its debut at the Prague Fringe Festival and it contains spontaneous elements that are different at every performance.
The first thing that strikes you about Andy is his energy, whether dancing about or running into the audience, he keeps up a fast pace with his delivery that feels like a natural stream of consciousness, with constant asides, digressions and neurotic self-analysis.
It’s a minimalist production, with just a chair and a bag of basic props, and Andy takes full advantage of the space, whether dancing about, running into the audience or dousing himself with water, the setting for each of his escapades is brought to life on stage.
The jokes are funny and Andy has a natural sense of timing and delivery. There was plenty of laughter, some of it of a nervous character, especially when he started taking off his clothes, creating a sense of ‘how far is this guy prepared to go…?’
But that is precisely where the show disappointed – after tantalizing us with hints of risqué material, it proved to be chaste enough to bring your grandma to. The audience was waiting for an embarrassing or shocking anecdote about sex, but the closest we got was a story in which a girl fell straight asleep instead of having sex with our hero.
Instead of being bawdy, the show is actually surprisingly innocent and sad. Andy looks back over his former girlfriends with nostalgia and a forlorn sense of what-might-have-been, which is touching to a certain extent, but because we haven’t heard any interesting stories about his love life, we can only try and guess at what his memories contain.
This is a fun show with some great jokes and a very likeable performer, if only it had lived up to its title and offered some stories or observations about sex. In the end, the ideal viewer would be someone who just came out of a long-term relationship and is feeling a little emotional and wondering what might have been. Others may find themselves wondering just how good this show might have been if it had had a compelling story beneath the surface.