Let's Talk About Sex

Moor Theatre Delicatessen
- , 2017

Tickets cost £ various

A festival of up-and-coming theatre, inviting audiences to join a conversation about sex, gender and identity.

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Let's Talk About Sex Archived

"Let’s talk about sex, baby," sang Salt-N-Pepa in their 90s hit – but we still don’t. Or at least, not really. As Sarah Sharp, producer at Theatre Delicatessen says: "despite living in a society that uses sex at every opportunity... at a personal level we still find it incredibly difficult, scary, and embarrassing to honestly articulate ourselves on this messy topic."

Enter Let’s Talk About Sex, a festival of performances, musicals, workshops and films that kicked off with a brilliant double bill on 1 March, bringing audiences in on the conversation in a fun and welcoming way.

The opening night included performances of Before (The Line Is Lost) by Holly Gallagher, featuring her own story, pictures, and videos about growing up as a female in cosplay, and Alphabet by Joe Bunce and Billy Taylor, whose inventive narration of teenager Sam’s online world showed how modern masculinity is being built through social media, romcoms... and porn. 

As this opening night double bill proved, Theatre Delicatessen’s relaxed, intimate style works well for the festival's subject matter, which ordinarily might inspire a few audience jitters. Here, the audience was encouraged to feel engaged with – but not intimidated by – the performances and the topics at hand.

So what else can you expect from the festival? Well, there’s a film screening of the lesbian tale Carol, set in 1950s New York, and a special production of The Vagina Monologues, including responses from local Sheffield women. There’s a birthday party celebrating the clitoris (and yes, there will be party hats and games) together with funny and frank performances discussing topics including gender assumptions, body hair, and the history of the vibrator.

Join Theatre Delicatessen throughout March to explore sex – mysterious, fun, embarrassing, loving, scary, and empowering, but universally relevant. As the Salt-N-Pepa classic points out – why not? Everybody has it...

The programme:

Before (The Line is Lost)
1-2 March, 7pm, £7-8/£12-13 for double bill with Alphabet
A one-woman show about cosplay and growing up on the internet.

1-2 March, 8:30pm, £7-8/£12-13 for double bill with Before (The Line is Lost)
An exploration of modern masculinity.

The Vagina Monologues
8 March, 7:30pm, £6.50-8.50 (£1 for job seekers/refugees/asylum seekers/those receiving incapacity benefit)
Eve Ensler's smash hit celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. Part of SheFest.

10 March, 7:30pm, £6-7 (£1 for job seekers/refugees/asylum seekers/those receiving incapacity benefit)
An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's tale of repression and romance in 1950s New York, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Hosted by Andro and Eve for SheFest.

SheFest Saturday
12 March, 11am-4pm
Family fun at the main event in Sheffield's International Women's Day fringe festival.

Sex in Real Life: a workshop
13 March, 4pm, free
Inspired by Madeline Shann's explosively funny re-imagining of sex ed for the 21st century, this workshop looks into methods of developing creative ideas from life experiences.

16-18 March, 7:30pm, £7-9
A fun exploration of sexuality and identity under the pressures of adolescence, questioning the assumptions of gender roles in musical theatre.

Try out screen printing
18 March, 11am-3pm, pay what you decide (suggested donation £4)
A drop-in workshop with Edge of the Universe Printing Press. Print your own designs to hang on your wall or, if you bring a t-shirt, to wear.

Happy Birthday Clitoris
21 March, 6pm, pay what you decide
Games, party hats and 90s music, marking 19 years since the clitoris was officially recognised in the medical world. "Filthy and funny and thoughtful and uplifting", according to Third Angel's Alex Kelly.

Buzz: a new musical
23-25 March, 7:30pm, £9-12
A hilarious award-winning musical on the history of the vibrator.

The Chat
25 March, 2-6pm, pay what you decide
Three straight-talking workshops on sex and relationships. I want Great Sex: No Apologies, for girls and women (2pm); Up Your Game: What Women Want, for straight boys and men (3:30pm); The Nuts and Bolts of Trans and Non-Binary Sex (5pm).

I Wish I Had a Moustache
28 March, 7:30pm, £6.50-8.50
A coming-of-age story exploring beauty, gender anxieties and the taboo of body hair.

30 March, 7:30pm, pay what you decide
A night of works-in-progress and scratch performances from four local artists, on the festival's themes.

Written by Emma Liasides; February 23, 2017