Let’s talk about sex: 3 frisky Fringe shows reviewed

Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex Ed Show runs July 18 to 28 at the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. (Pascale Yensen/Maximaliste Productions)

With 178 shows on offer at this year’s Winnipeg Fringe Festival, it can be hard for performers to get noticed in the crowd.

Common wisdom says that sex sells — but will you want to buy in?

Here are our reviews of three Winnipeg Fringe shows that want to get you talking about sex.

Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex Ed Show runs July 18 to 28 at the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. (Pascale Yensen/Maximaliste Productions )

Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex Ed Show 

★★★ STARS

Is That How Clowns Have Sex? is an earnest one-woman clown show seeking to dispel sexual myths in a safe, silly setting.

Fiona Clark’s persona is a little shaky in her authority, deliberately so, but Clark drops the clown act at the end to address any legitimate sex questions or concerns. This is a clown that cares.

The show relies heavily on audience participation, which makes the performance uneven and scattered. Many of the demonstrations are done with Clark’s back to the audience or under a sheet, which is neither particularly edifying nor visually appealing.

It is sweet and fun and you can learn how to DIY a dental dam from any on-hand condom. If you are unsure how to find the clitoris then you should walk away from this show with a pretty good oversized puppet road map — for some that will be well worth the price of admission.

— Reviewed by Michelle Palansky

Things We (never) Learned in Sex Ed

★★★ STARS

Sex education in the U.S. is a “hot mess,” say Oregon performers Lindsay Spear and Phoebe Thompson — and that’s what they’re out to change in this well-intentioned and entertaining hour.

They look at the state of sex ed (only marginally better in Canada, they note) through a series of monologues, chats, “factoids,” sketches and songs. It sometimes feels a little lecture-y — and let’s be clear, at a Fringe festival, they’re probably preaching to the choir.

But they’re engaging and charismatic performers. More importantly, they’re frank, open and clear in talking about sex —traits, it’s evident from the statistics they cite, that are sorely needed in more sex ed programs.

— Reviewed by Joff Schmidt

Wait, So Do I Make Out With a Pan? runs July 17 to 28 at the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. (Buried Seed Productions/Facebook)

Wait, So Do I Make Out with a Pan?

★★★ STARS

Performer Marie Kozyra is a recent grad of the University of Winnipeg theatre and education programs, and it’s a wonderful thing that we have a Fringe festival where emerging talents can step into the shallow end and get a chance to mount, produce and perform their own work without managing a minefield of gatekeepers, backers and naysayers.

In this first Fringe outing, the main character Lea, mostly from her couch, navigates that other minefield, S-E-X.

Who am I, as it relates to my gender identity and sexual orientation, and what do I like to do when it comes to intimacy?

At the end of this amusing, 30-minute inquiry, replete with some effective bells, whistles and physical fun, we are naturally left with more questions than answers.

But that’s what being in your 20s is, isn’t it? 

And yes, she does kind of make out with a crepe pan.

— Reviewed by Lara Rae

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