Sex Idiot – Pulse Fringe Festival, New Wolsey Theatre

Well after a few hours sleep I haven’t calmed down. Where to start? Well just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This offensive, obscene and badly conceived piece ranks as the worst show I’ve ever endured.

Last night’s second Pulse Fringe offering was the excruciating debacle Sex Idiot by Bryony Kimmings, billed as a piece examining her reaction to discovering she had contracted an STI. So it was always likely to be risqué but where humour can help tackle some of the most difficult subjects this appalling piece fails on every level.

So what do you get for your money?

A song with the delightful refrain of ‘I will rape and mutilate you’
Another song consisting of a list of words for vagina
The audience passing round scissors to donate their pubic hair
Ms Kimmings then using said pubic hair as a moustache
Dissecting two (animal we hope) hearts on stage and sewing them together
Singing through her arse
Urinating into a glass onstage
Pouring contents of said glass over herself
Now I’m sure it’s meant to be shocking and offensive but for shock to work as a performance piece it needs the material to be clever, Sex Idiot fails as the material behind the shock is so weak and juvenile. Compare Sex Idiot with one of last year’s Pulse Festival late night offerings Horse by Flick Ferdinando. Horse was just as smutty, just as shocking but underpinned by strong performance, a clever and witty script and a clear understanding of how performance theatre can work – all woefully lacking in this ‘performance’.

Some of the audience loved it but sadly I have to chalk this one up as the worst hour in a theatre in 20 years (and I sat through Out Westgate and Guernica). While a passionate supporter for increased arts funding, if this is the level of ‘talent’ the Arts Council are funding perhaps the proposed £19million funding cut may force a radical review of funding such dross. New Wolsey Theatre and Pulse Fringe – hang your heads in shame

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