Beatrix, Noel, Brenda, Lionel, Philip, and Suzie are the stars of All the Sex I’ve Ever Had. They are not celebrities, they are not actors; they play themselves, real authentic people. For two hours you will be entertained by intimate stories and honest vulnerabilities. Secrets that I am not at liberty to tell — but I can say that this performance is well worth it.
In essence, it is a social experiment: six strangers share their stories with over eight hundred audience members (it was a very packed Playhouse Theatre!) and the audience, in turn, have the opportunity to share their stories.
The script draws on interviews conducted with the performers. With ages ranging from 55 to 81, there is a plethora of experiences to share. Writers Tina Fance, Alice Fleming, and Darren O’Donnell have then crafted a script which goes in chronological order starting at their birth through to present day. Nothing is held back, from their sexual awakenings at the age of eight, to the loss of loved ones, to imprisonment.
If I wasn’t laughing from second hand awkwardness or cheering for their triumphs I was crying for their heartbreak. The beauty of using non-actors means that there is an emotional connection to these performers. Even 22-year-old me can relate to them.
All the Sex I’ve Ever Had is a recipe that can be applied again and again. Each time using new people with new stories. It proved highly successful in the Sydney Festival in 2016. Whilst this show was highly entertaining (an understatement as this show has now become my FAVOURITE SHOW OF ALL TIME!!!) it plays a very important role in bringing marginalised stories to the front. What may seem like a cheeky show about stories between the sheets is actually cross-generational story sharing. It creates a community of empathy and helps us understand what it means to keep living when life gets shit.
Melbourne Festival should be very proud that they have been able to create such a rich and authentic show harvested from those who make up very soul of Melbourne.
Amber Bock is a freelance stage manager who is excited to keep you up to date with Melbourne’s best theatre.
All the Sex I’ve Ever Had runs from 12 – 15 October 2017 at the Playhouse Theatre at Arts Centre Melbourne (120 mins, no interval). This venue is accessible.
Instead of offering the classic $30 tickets for Under 30s, this show offers the $30 tickets to those over 60. Buy tickets here.
Read our guide to the best of the Melbourne Festival.