Pros: The format is playful, but the message is pretty serious.
Cons: Due to the adult theme, this play is not suitable for children and puritans.
Welcomed into the Argyll Theatre by the pounding beat of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’, the audience is invited to sit by a storefront, where four workers are dancing wildly. This is not an ordinary shop, though, but Gloucestershire’s leading sex toy superstore.
Opened in 1994 by the unconventional Doris (Will Norris), Good Vibes Only is now closing for renovation and all the stock must go. This flash sale attracts all sorts of punters, the regulars, the newbies, the rebels and the sceptical. All eventually taking turns under the spotlight and confessing what their relationship with sex – and toys – is all about.
Running the shop together with Doris are the camp Joe (George Rennison), the asexual cat-lover Amber (Anna Hodgson) and the 18-year old Gareth (Katherine Edwards), there on a work placement. When they eventually take their turn under the spotlight, we learn more about their sexual conundrums too, as if playwright Charlotte McEvoy wanted to highlight that, when talking about sex, “normality” is not a thing.
Based on a series of verbatim interviews, all the characters and storylines are inspired by genuine people and their personal views on sexuality and pleasure. Gender-swapped roles help to make the important point that discrimination and prejudice can target men as much as women. Using toys, for example, is more acceptable for women and queer people, rather than straight men. “If a woman admits to liking toys,” says one of the interviewees, “she’s called “cheeky bitch”, but if a man expresses interest in toys, he’s considered a perv!”
With freshness and a liberal use of puns, Laughing Mirror Theatre Company wants to fight the taboos surrounding pleasure and the stigma that prevents so many people from receiving proper sexual education. As misinformation and bigotry so often affect sexual health awareness, the company rightfully sets out to expose the matter to the public eye.
Written and Co-Directed by: Charlotte McEvoy
Co-Director: Izzy Cutler
Producer: Laughing Mirror Theatre Company
Booking Until: 18 August 2018
Box Office: 0131 510 2386
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/good-vibes-only