Tag: sexuality

REVIEW: Bryony Kimmings in SEX IDIOT

May contain brutal songs, outrageous stories and hilarious sex scenes

By Narelle Wood

Sex Idiot was brilliantly funny, but the content of the show justified its 10.45pm time-slot for MICF 2014 and is certainly not one for the kiddies. Much of Bryony Kimmings’ show cannot be described without a barrage of euphemisms for sex or heavy censorship. It is safe to say when the blurb in the media release describes the show as an ‘unapologetic account of female sexuality in the 21st century’, it is in no way lying.

Sex Idiot

Kimmings’ unabashed and extremely physical performance, along with her seemingly sweet exterior and brutal honesty, that makes this show not only work, but incredibly funny and only, perhaps, a little bit offensive. She recounts her experiences of finding out she has an STI and the journey she then embarks upon to discover who she contracted it from. Her promise to those who helped her solve the mystery was a piece of art to be used in the performance. As a result we were treated to songs, poetry, interpretative dance and an audience participatory art piece that was perhaps more a warning about risk-taking behaviours than the resulting art.

This show is very well-constructed and Kimmings’ persona means she naturally endears herself to the audience. But while the show is extremely funny, it is also very poignant and a little sad; I walked away feeling as though I had laughed through a very honest lesson about love, sex and life.

Highlights of the show included the juxtaposition between what I’ll call the ‘Cup of Tea’ song and the song about how Kimmings’ would deal with a cheating boyfriend; one sweet, the other violent but both showcasing Kimmings’ slightly unhinged view of relationships in a way that is both charming and disturbingly familiar.

Sex Idiot is not a show for the prudish or faint-hearted. But if you like a voyeuristic romp through someone else’s sex-life and the resulting STI warning then Bryony Kimmings’ Sex Idiot is right up your alley.

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall
Season: 10.45pm 3rd, 4th and 5th April
Tickets: $25
Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au

REVIEW: Christopher Durang’s LAUGHING WILD

Slick satire performed with aplomb

By Myron My

In Christopher Durang’s satirical comedy Laughing Wild, we meet two socially marginalised people struggling to survive in the modern world. They are known as The Woman and The Man. A chance encounter over tuna forces them to look into themselves and each other and attempt to find what it is they really want.

Laughing Wild

Laughing Wild is mainly set up in three scenes – it begins with a monologue by The Woman, a mentally-ill person obsessed with television. Gradually, her fragility and vulnerability begin to come through amid all the humour and jokes. This is followed by a monologue by The Man, a queer and quaint person who is looking to better himself and remain at peace with his spirit.

The third scene is where things get a little more complicated and surreal and there are some great moments including a number of backwards scenes and a hilarious interview in the style of Sally Jesse Raphael with the Infant of Prague which was quite something to witness.

Rani Pramesti carries a certain distinct charisma with her that I’ve not seen on stage for quite a while. Her embodiment of The Woman is more than impressive and the naturalism with which she delivers her lines – often at ridiculous speeds – is testament to the time and effort she must have put in perfecting this role. Her mannerisms and movement all served to construct a woman who is slightly unhinged and erratic.

Similarly, Daniel Last as The Man does exceptionally well in humanizing a character who is hell-bent on remaining positive. While The Woman was more loud and animated, Last did well in showing the restraint of The Man and exploring many of the same fears and worries as his female counterpart but in a fascinatingly different way.

Despite being set in the 80s, the themes of mental illness, loneliness, sexuality and politics are all still prevalent issues today and Durang’s work has clearly passed the test of time. Laughing Wild is a great character piece by two strong performers who are more than capable of carrying this comedic but demanding production.

Venue: Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Rd, Brunswick

Season: Until 1 March 2:00pm, 7:00pm.

Tickets: $20 Full | $15 Conc

Bookings: http://www.trybooking.com/71486

REVIEW: Jessamae St James is TIED UP

Bending and bonding over cabaret

By Myron My

It’s always a risky move when a performer takes an unsuspecting audience member on stage and makes him get down on all fours so she can sit on him. But when that audience member is your reviewer, you better damn well hope you have a great show to move on with!

Tied Up

Fortunately, burlesque performer Jessamae St James does have just that, and in the context of her show my participation was quite – er – tame… As part of this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Tied Up looks at fetishes and BDSM, including ‘forniphilia’ – a form of bondage and sexual objectification in which a person’s body (namely mine) is incorporated into a piece of furniture.

Wearing a black, body-hugging corset, St James easily captures the audience’s attention as she talks and sings her way through some more lesser-known but just as intriguing fetishes. Once the sometimes lengthy monologue describing each fetish is completed St James breaks into a song and this is where she truly does shine.

Her voice is sultry and seductive, and appropriately, she nails each and every number she sings. Moreover, St James is joined on stage by an amazing four-piece jazz band whose skill and talent take the musical aspect of this show to a whole new level.

St James does create a highly intimate and sensual environment overall, but considering the obvious impact of the music and her vocal ability, I feel less talking and more songs would have kept the enjoyment level of this show at a maximum.

I must als0 admit I would have liked to have been confronted even more with Tied Up. St James is discussing some highly sexual and often taboo themes and it would have been great to see her push some of those boundaries herself on stage, which I am sure she would be capable of doing, given her exciting performance history.

Having said that, Tied Up is still a highly entertaining show, I made a particularly fine stage seat, and I’m certainly keen to see where St James dares to go from here…

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St (entry via Carson Place), Melbourne

Season: Until 7 July | Sat 7:00pm, Sun 6:00pm.

Tickets: $28 Full | $25 Conc

Bookings: http://melbournecabaret.com