A review by Bernie Whelan for EXTRA! EXTRA!




Sex Idiot



Written and performed by Bryony Kimmings

Soho Theatre


6 -16 April 2011



Bryony Kimmings made a promising start, narrating a familiar and funny scene from the sexual health clinic with a speculum jammed in her mouth. This show comes with the usual warnings about sexually explicit material and nudity and indeed she wastes no opportunity to flash her buffed and toned body and literally signposts every known word for vagina in her version of Bob Dylan's  'Subterranean Homesick Blues'.

However supposedly shocking the content, the performance itself was disappointingly anodyne. It had more in common with a visit to the clinic than a night out in Soho really should and reminded me of my teaching days when worthy, enthusiastic troupes would travel around secondary schools to demonstrate condom use for teenagers in an entertaining way. Yes, she put a condom on her head to demonstrate that it's big enough for any penis and blew it up until it popped off leaving her hair attractively dishevelled. She did look pretty, had some gorgeous costumes including a colourful Inca inspired headdress and an intriguing set all designed by David Curtis Ring. She sang and gurned a bit, danced some archly self-conscious 'contemporary dance' to narrate her unremarkable sexual history and finished with a quasi-religious ceremonial offering of these experiences, a public apology to previous boyfriends for being 'a prick' and a homily for the audience on how we're all connected. If the only way we're connected is through the potential to infect each other with Chlamydia, then shoot me now.

This feels a bit like shooting a mocking bird, particularly since Bryony Kimmings seems to have such an affinity with birds. She was more Pippi Longstocking than Mae West so I didn't mind her sticking her well flossed fanny in my face or her asking for pubic hair samples, if only she'd made me laugh more than once or twice. The premise that she was a sexual pioneer, slugging Jack Daniels and dropping her knickers instead of settling for tea and toast, the 'penultimate episode of Coast' and boring trips to IKEA was actually rather insulting. Most adult relationships involve a bit of both rather than this puerile posturing of either or. I think this show tries for something Victoria Wood achieved in her song 'Let's Do It' without leaving the piano stool. It's rich territory for the intrepid comedy artist to explore. Bryony Kimmings has all the gear but doesn't really get off the mark.


Soho Theatre
21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE
Evenings: 7.45pm
Tickets: £13, £11 concs
Box Office: 020 7478 0100

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