Let's talk about sex: 9 shows about doing the deed to see at the Fringe

This article is from 2018

Let's talk about sex: Nine shows about doing the deed coming to Fringe 2018

Smut Slam Cabaret

From the truly smutty to the uproariously funny, these Fringe shows aren't afraid to get between the sheets

Sex, of course, was designed as a reproductive strategy and became a way for humans to experience intimacy that words just can't express. Capitalism weaponised it as a commodity, and theatre-makers use it variously to open up discussions of desire and equality, emotion and morality–or attract audiences hoping to get a cheap thrill. While the Fringe has far greater problems with deadly sins other than lust (pride and greed making up the subtext of many press releases), some shows want to have a word about the wonderful world of human sexuality.

It isn't as easy to find shows explicitly about sex in the Fringe brochure as it is to find revivals of Greek classical tragedy: plenty of shows have a subtext, but there is little that appeals straight to the libido. There are more shows about social media, so perhaps humanity has finally evolved to a point where interacting with computers is more thrilling than encountering another physical being.

Smut Slam Cabaret
Ethically sourced filth gets an open mic session under through Camryn Moore's global campaign to share 'authentic sexuality', with added glitter for its Fringe editions. At the same venue, Moore will be giving Terrible Sex Tips throughout the Fringe.
Sweet Grassmarket, 8–23 Aug

The Illicit Thrill: Breakin' the Rules
Gypsy Charms' annual hardcore reflection on lap-dancing is often mistaken for pure filth–and it is certainly a frank, erotic and provocative step up from burlesque titillation. However, the full-frontal nudity unflinchingly addresses serious issues of sexual freedom, exploitation and liberation, appealing for artistic freedom and hiding Charms' remarkable intelligence and detailed research.
Voodoo Rooms, 3–26 Aug

Banging and Screwing
Winner of the Ronseal award for most direct title at the Fringe, this musical pits two men in a context to prove their masculinity. May contain scenes of DIY and have nothing to do with sexual activity at all.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, 3–18 Aug

Aphrodite and the Invisible Consumer Gods
The Greek goddess of love arrives in the twenty-first century, and tries to work out how her domain of concern has been re-imagined by the rise of the internet. Promising physical theatre and comedy, Sam Donvito comes from Adelaide to Edinburgh to ponder the big questions of life under social media.
Zoo Charteris, 12 – 27 Aug

Let's talk about sex: Nine shows about doing the deed coming to Fringe 2018

Skin a Cat

Carmen Funebre
In Carmen Funebre, Teatr Biuro Podrozy brings back their large scale 1995 show that emphasises the impact of war on civilians but is based on a story driven by raw sexual desire. Their second offering at this year's Fringe, Carmen: A Gender-Filled Film Noir Fantasy, devises a discussion of personal good and evil using the same erotic clash of male neediness and female freedom.
Carmen Funebre, Pleasance at EICC, 16–19 Aug
Carmen: Gender Flipped, Laughing Horse @ The Mockingbird, 20–26 Aug

Kids Play
The advert features a man in his underpants, holding a teddy-bear and wearing handcuffs. The blurb in the Fringe brochure suggests a big night out, and the possibility of danger. Boteproductions claim the boy is searching for love, but that advert suggests something more physical is being considered.
theSpace @ Niddry Street, 13–25 Aug

Skin a Cat
New writing that follows a woman's attempts to lose her virginity. With its innuendo-based title and promise of laughter as Alana's quest is repeatedly interrupted, Rive Productions seem to be aiming for the funny rather than the erotic.
Assembly Rooms, 2–25 Aug

Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff)
Despite the cheeky title, Carys Eleri gets into the neuroscience of love and loneliness, working with a real neuro-scientist and a former member of 4Hero. Since it includes a song called Tit Montage and concludes that hugging is the answer, sexual content is mildly indicated.
Summerhall, 1–26 Aug

Danger Strip Show
Part of Chaz Royal's burlesque line-up, Danger Strip adds 'death-defying stunts' to 'the world's oldest artform'. Probably a good bet for a spot of sanctioned voyeurism, with Royal established as a player in the burlesque world both through his Fringe slots and London-based festival.
Assembly George Square Gardens, 2–26 Aug

Illicit Thrill – Breakin' the Rules

Gypsy Charms Get your tip dollars out and leave your inhibitions at the door as you step into the Fringe’s shadiest nightspot. Back in the stripteasing business, the show that has been teaching Edinburgh audiences to perv responsibly is going to be breakin’ the rules. Join housemistress Gypsy ‘Fur Coat No Knickers…

Banging and Screwing

Leggy Blonde Productions Do you always read the instructions? Does size really matter? Have a problem with your wood? Banging and Screwing solves it all! Follow the instructions as we join Lee and Gary competing to be the alpha male. This two-man show explores the nuts and bolts of their experiences as modern day men…

Danger Strip Show

Chaz Royal The most jaw-dropping, mind-popping, eye-watering experience of this year's Fringe! With unbridled attitude, this firecracker of a show performs death defying stunts while honoring the world's oldest artform (striptease) for your entertainment. Risk ass-essment required! Presented by Chaz Royal and The…

Carmen Funebre

Teatr Biuro Podrozy From the makers of Silence, the company's return to the subject of war and its impact on civilian populations, Carmen is the 1995 show that sealed its reputation for spectacular and haunting large-scale performances. Presented for four performances only it is 'an unforgettable dramatisation of war…

Smut Slam Cabaret: Where Sex and Storytelling Collide

Cameryn Moore / Little Black Book Productions The finest filth on the Fringe, told by the people who lived it. With music, burlesque, occasionally clowns and a phone-sex-operator host, you will leave transformed, or at least turned on. Cameryn Moore wrestles this international cult sensation into place (consensually…

Carmen: A Gender-Flipped Film Noir Fantasy

The Free Festival Sultry and cool, Carmen is a gender-swapped film noir fantasy. Step into a world of drama, tension, sex and intrigue, where the struggle between good and evil is real and personal. Tough female detectives, baddies and a sultry homme fatale flirt, steal and kill in this stylish and intoxicating piece.

Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff)

  • 3 stars

One-woman comedy musical show by Carys Eleri, delving into the neuroscience of love and loneliness.

Skin a Cat

  • 4 stars

Rive Productions Ltd Every teenager thinks they're the only one not having sex. For Alana, it might be true. Every time she gets close something gets in the way… Follow Alana on a wickedly funny sexual odyssey: from getting her first period, to watching bad porn, to painful examinations by cheery gynaecologists – all…

Kids Play

  • 4 stars

Boys of the Empire Productions Checklist. Pyjamas, teddy bear, money, train ticket, pills, handcuffs. Text Marty. Tell him if I don't call by midnight, something's happened to me and he best start dredging rivers. LOL… From Glenn Chandler, creator of Taggart and writer/director of Sandel (Fringe 2013) – ‘a gem of a…

Aphrodite and the Invisible Consumer Gods

  • 3 stars

Sam Donvito This award-winning show combines humour, audience interaction and dance to highlight the objectification of women in the media. The Goddess Aphrodite travels to the 21st century. Tempted by the allure of advertising, she wholeheartedly enters into our modern world. However, she is constantly shamed by the…

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