Ryan Good goes on a quest to find the ten worst sex tips of all time in Cosmopolitan magazine for his Melbourne Fringe show ‘Cosmonaut’. However, the show is more than a top ten list inspired by a magazine packed with advertising, perfume samples, and sexist stereotypes. It turns out that ‘Cosmonaut’ is actually about love and heartbreak instead of easy gags. (That statement does, of course, overlook an opening number performed in a silver unitard and a light-up strap-on.)
A heartbreaking break-up is at the core of Good’s piece, as he attempts to make sense of his feelings and manage the emotional baggage. Although the show begins with a break-up, the tone is light-hearted. It is ukuleles and bananas, not tears. There is no strong narrative through-line; rather, it’s a scattershot of stories, bits, and conversations with the audience. It seems as if Good created the show by thinking up a variety of ideas that amused him and then put them all on stage together.
Also on stage for much of the show is a recruit from the audience. The man pulled out of his seat proved to be a true asset to the performance and embraced the vulnerable, humanising elements of the production. The openness about common human experiences such as love and sexual adventures carried the show. It’s this relatability that turned a sex tip about freshly ground pepper into an enjoyable story.
Jenny Schmidt is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
‘Cosmonaut’ runs Sept 16 – Oct 1 at the Fringe Hub Arts House, 521 Queensbury St. North Melbourne. Book tickets.