Gus Simonovic - Theatreview.org.nz'One of the first pieces of advice experienced comedy/theatre producers would readily give you, when preparing for a comedy festival show, is to put the word SEX in the title. So this show is set for success, without a lie! There is quite a bit of sex in it, a lot of orgasms, even sex with animals this opening night. Now that you are interested…'open/close
How much can Sex and Lies be NOT improvised?
One of the first pieces of advice experienced comedy/theatre producers would readily give you, when preparing for a comedy festival show, is to put the word SEX in the title. So this show is set for success, without a lie! There is quite a bit of sex in it, a lot of orgasms, even sex with animals this opening night. Now that you are interested …
In its seventh season the Sex, Lies and Improvise show, at the Auckland Comedy Festival, is as fresh and new as ever. Here's the deal: four performers, as directors, get a chance to make a short improvised ‘film', made up with prompts from the audience. With a rotating cast of four ‘directors' and an MC, plus feeds from the audience that influence the creation of the performances through their stories, ideas, imagination and comedic sexual fantasies it becomes “a three way thing, you see,” says Lori Dungey, the fantastic MC for the evening.
Let me start with the audience: they are very much up to the challenge, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people in the room were regulars, attending this show year after year. As clear instructions are given by an MC, it is evident right from the start that there is not the slightest sense of shyness or unfamiliarity in the room. To the contrary, everybody seems keen to contribute their own teenage sexual failures or reveal the secrets of their sexual education.
Tonight's cast of impromptu directors and actors playfully turn those stories into ‘short movies' and at the end of each round, with guidance from audience's cheers and claps, one of the ‘directors' is eliminated – giving the audience the chance to choose which story they want to see more of.
And then there are the stories: Clare Kelso recreates a real life story: Game of Thrones meets Birkenhead; Lindsey Brown brings to life a sexy story from the illicit past of an audience member; Simon Cameron directs a date between an ordinary women and a man brought up by rats, who acts like a real rat of a man; and Andie Spago conducts a rather weird encounter at the pharmacy, where a Parkinson's disease patient who regularly comes in for condoms, gets Viagra by mistake – you get the picture!