Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose
[Note: this review originally appeared as a 3 star. This was an error with the submitted copy and the reviewer has clarified they had meant to award 4 stars]
If you’re looking for a hen do I can absolutely guarantee that the Gilded Balloon’s Patter Hoose will be full of them at 9.30 every evening. Because that is when the local university’s English department is holding an event celebrating writer Dan Anderson’s (Adam Fane) book Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, with host Robyn (Elena Sasso) as our shy convenor for the evening. It’s Dan’s job, with the help of the audience and hunky sound technician/astrophysicist Stefan, to give Robyn her ‘Sandy from Grease’ catsuit moment.
This show is smooth and bulletproof after a decade running in Las Vegas and Off-Broadway. It survives pretty well for its trip across the Atlantic but perhaps could do with subbing a few of the references. A tipsy British audience aren’t that quick to laugh at Helen Keller, who we assume is on the American school curriculum but isn’t as widely heard of here.
It’s great fun for hens and couples looking for a good laugh, featuring plenty of audience interaction. There are even ample opportunities to embarrass your boyfriend or the bride to be! (Your reviewer sat at the back with his pad and pencil sweating throughout, hoping not to be picked on for taking notes at the sex show, I passed unnoticed – phew!) In fact, it’s a constant surprise how game the audiences are for silly games and w@nking tutorials.
The writer feels a need to force a sense of moral into what is basically just a daft excuse for a laugh. In true fringe style, this comes 45 mins in – “there are a lot of people telling us how to behave, but we are the only one that gets to decide”. This is practically tossed away as soon as it’s said and really is just fringing on what is a stupendously silly hour anyway as games and hijinks continue. The ending of the story, something to do with a blender that doesn’t quite make sense, is unfortunately fuddled and so completely lost. But the closing, a space suit strip tease from our sexy techie, does the job of ending proceedings well enough.
Written by: Matt Murphy
Directed by: Tim Drucker
Produced by: Matt Murphy and Seabright Productions
Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man plays at EdFringe 2022 until 28 August. Further information and bookings can be found here.