Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Brilliant slapstick and dangerous choreography

Talk Sex Show

Volcano Theatre , Aberystwyth Arts Centre , September-26-02
Moments of brilliant slapstick comedy that almost felt spontaneous, pepper this increasingly hilarious show but can’t hide the fact that it has a much deeper and darker side.

It’s virtually a one man show with Paul Davies writing and performing as the frustrated, sleaze ball talk show host (The Guru).

Sex and particularly the individual’s sexuality is something that - unlike most of human experience - can’t be happily collectivised. If it could then we would have stadiums full of people happily masturbating not copulating. To masturbate with a smile on your face is to be more liberated than to fuck with a smile on your face. In the absence of collective mutually appreciated masturbation, fucking is often the way that the individual deals with the sense of awkwardness and twisted emotional expression that comes from the possession of genitalia.

This is the territory of the crazed Guru who seems to want to proselytise genitalia acceptance when in fact all he wants is a screw. He embodies the paradoxes sexuality present us with. He is the manifestation of his own fears for the collective.

The kind of curious litany detailing the choice of crisp flavour offered in the post-modern world, delivered at the end of the play by The Man (Eric Maclennan), sitting with his nine inch comfy cloth stuck on penis hanging benignly and The Woman (Rachel Harrison) with her stuck on Durer-like paper pudenda – who, incidentally perform their sexual tableaux with a balletic verve – seems to herald the return of reason to a world turned upside down for an hour: where sexual practice is a Master of the means rather than a means to mastery…..

Helen Bailey’s often explosive direction and dangerous choreography (at one point a six foot log is introduced as a participating member!) presented the show to an audience which, in the cavernous auditorium of Theatr-Y-Werin, seemed quite small. Because of this you did feel that you were at something like a talk show at the beginning but the power of this piece lies in its confronting the sexual hang-ups of the audience.

Because of that I felt the piece could be even more dangerous: part of a concentrated attack on theatre audiences made soft by dramatisations of Victorian texts and effete Shakespeare.

Reviewed by: Dic Edwards

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