Review: Clitorosity, Cocktastrophes and Other Things You Can't Get Your Mouth Around:The 2nd Cumming

By Abbie Gallagher


The Sydney Fringe is a mixed bag. There's time limits, venue restraints and many new and upcoming artists testing the waters, experimenting with styles and taking the chance to present new work. Shape House Productions is a brand new independent theatre company consisting of 2018 graduates from Sydney Theatre School. In this outing, they have chosen to revive their devised work Clitorosity, Cocktastrophes and Other Things You Can't Get Your Mouth Around:The 2nd Cumming. This production had a successful season at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe and now it's back, revamped and ready to premiere in Sydney. 


The title didn't instill much confidence in me that the show would be particularly G-rated, and those suspicions proved to be well-founded. Officially, it was advertised as M15+, but quite honestly this is more R-rated. If you bring the kids, you're making a big mistake. 


Clitorosity is a sketch comedy, presented in an episodic fashion and tied together with a theme obvious to anybody. Sex. This is a topic we as a species are all well aware of and it's definitely relateable to most. Each scene takes the audience through a scenario dealing with topics such as sexuality, masturbation, menstruation, pregnancy and every mishap that comes with the territory. Soccer mums have intimate discussions during a game, accompanied by commentary loaded with double entendres. 


The production is to be commended for many things, not least because of the excellent cast of nine females and one male performer. Amber Kent, Annie Boyle, Ashley Prisk, Chloe Baldacchino, Chloe Byrd, Danielle Winsor, Hayley McAlister,  Mia Ferguson and Natanyah Forbes are all skilled actors, keeping an incredibly level of energy throughout the hour. As the lone male cast member, Mark Anderson maintains a fabulous presence and in many cases steals the spotlight whenever he's onstage. I cannot fault the cast for their bold choices and fearless approach to the show, our their comedic timing. These are all very talented people and they belong on that stage. I took issue with only one aspect of the show, and unfortunately it was the content. 


Sex is not a subject devoid of humour. That much is clear. However, comedy is not just about making people laugh. The best comedy has some kind of message behind it, and sadly during this show, those messages were only hinted at and not explored to their full potential. 95% of the jokes were nothing different from every B-grade comedy we've seen time and time again, and the rest were either contrived, confusing or actually tasteless. Incest jokes and references to coat-hanger abortions aren't what I want to hear in 2019, and could very well be upsetting for audience members. 


There were so many ways the humour could have been related to sexuality in today's world. And there were tantalising glimpses of this happening, but were brushed off in favour of lowbrow antics. For example, there was a scene where a group of schoolgirls were in a PDHPE class being taught about tampons. This could have been a statement on the misinformation and confusion surrounding the topic of menstruation. Instead it turned into an uncomfortable scene where all the girls attempted to insert the tampons with their teacher instructing their technique. Another sketch had a couple discussing how communication could improve their sex life. Again, this could have been a highly entertaining moment but instead became a confusing sketch involving mentions of gay conversion therapy and a bizarre incest reveal to end the scene. Also, the sketch where a group of young children were read a graphically sexual version of Rapunzel and Cinderella didn't make a lot of sense and more than overstayed its welcome. Overall, the content could have gone far deeper (no pun intended) than it did and made more culturally appropriate choices in their delivery. 


Shape House Productions is a company in its infancy. They have a chance here to aim higher in terms of messages and purpose behind their work. The pieces are all there. They just need to really focus on deciding what they want the audience to ponder, and take away with them as they leave the theatre. Juvenile sex jokes are far beneath them, and I hope they leave that aside and create a new product, one that knows without a doubt what it's saying, and ensure their talents are showcased to their full ability. 

Image Supplied


All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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