Tag Archives: Jess Bernberg

Sex Sex Men Men

The Yard Theatre

Sex Sex Men Men

Sex Sex Men Men

The Yard Theatre

Reviewed – 27th February 2019



“By the end, the show is joyous and silly. The set a backdrop of vibrant, glittery and soft fabrics imitates this playful atmosphere”


Sex is getting more complicated. Out of the confusion and the strangeness, Pecs have created a non-binary cabaret performed by seven very different and very brilliant drag kings. The show interrogates masculinity, exploring not only vulnerability but what it is to inhabit the kinds of strength that masculinity offers. The result is an evening of songs, dance, comedy and dramatic pieces that create a picture of male sexuality as a changing and nuanced spectrum.

Like many drag shows, Sex Sex Men Men seems to take parody as a starting point. The charismatic Cesar Jentley (Kit Griffiths) opens the show dressed in no less than a top hat and tail coat, simultaneously echoing both Ascot and cabaret. But with all good parody, there is an element of sincerity and Temi Wilkey’s Drag King Cole a lip-syncing dance that is heart-felt as well as hilarious. Victor Victorious’ (Victoria Aubrey) solo dance and strip is also nothing short of incredible.

From there, the show gets more serious and the comedy is always rooted in awareness that discussing gender also means discussing persecution, prejudice and abuse. In fact, the show does delve into the darkness of sexual abuse but there are plenty of warnings and opportunities for the audience members to leave. There are also some very explicit scenes and the audience, again, is forewarned. The show does not rely on shock value but on a desire to create an offering of performances that are about sex in all its roughness, gentleness, pleasure and pain.

What also stands out is that the show is interspersed with testimonies written by men on online forums. The stories range from confessions, confusing gay encounters to asking for advice about toxic masculine friendships. In these moments, it becomes clear that Pecs are opening the floor to more varied and frank discussions about relationships and gender. But there is a sadness in the disconnectedness of this as the stories have been put out into the void of the internet and are therefore both intensely personal and completely anonymous.

By the end, the show is joyous and silly. The set (Jasmine Swan), a backdrop of vibrant, glittery and soft fabrics imitates this playful atmosphere. The show is bold. There are some great ensemble dance numbers, there is nudity, food play, and a melancholic undressing scene to the music of Anthony and the Johnsons (which made this reviewer cry). Pecs have put gender on stage to remind us that it is a performance; a piece which we should all take seriously and have some serious fun with.


Reviewed by Tatjana Damjanovic

Photography by Holly Lucas


Sex Sex Men Men

The Yard Theatre until 16th March


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Super Duper Close Up | ★★★★★ | November 2018
24 Italian Songs and Arias | ★★★★★ | January 2019
48 Hours: | ★★ | January 2019
Call it a Day | ★★★ | January 2019
Hotter Than A Pan | ★★★★ | January 2019
Plastic Soul | ★★★★ | January 2019
A Sea Of Troubles | ★★★★★ | February 2019
Cuteness Forensics | ★★½ | February 2019
To Move In Time | ★★½ | February 2019
Ways To Submit | ★★★★ | February 2019


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Fabric – 4 Stars



Soho Theatre

Reviewed – 13th September 2018


“Nancy Sullivan delivers Leah with warmth and an immediate likeability”


“I’m revolting,” Leah says, opening the play. Her and her husband, Ben Cavendish, meet when he comes in for a suit and she, in the words of her disapproving mother in law, “serves” him. On the third date he calls her “potential wife material” and sure enough, soon Leah is picking out dresses and planning her wedding. But this is not the narrative of a happy marriage. It is a story about sexual assault, within and later, outside of marriage, how rape is justified by its perpetrators, and the failures of an unbelieving judicial system.

Within this, the show also comments on the roles women are expected to play in society, the trajectory women’s lives are supposed to follow and the confusion that disillusionment brings. Clothing, as the title suggests, weaves a strong motif throughout the show, a reflection of the societal and judicial obsession with the clothing worn by someone who has been raped. Class is also underlying in Leah’s depictions of her mother in law and of Ben.

Abi Zakarian is a beautiful writer, leading us from light to dark with ease. The accounts of rape have such an impact that they are difficult to focus beyond – we leave the theatre still reeling – although the foreboding answer machine messages that pepper the play feel a little unnecessary.

Nancy Sullivan delivers Leah with warmth and an immediate likeability, giggling away, genuine and familiar. Her journey across the play, and the horrific and graphic accounts of rape, are incredibly moving and impactful, an unflinching performance from a very impressive performer.

Anna Reid’s set is scattered pieces of furniture, chairs mainly, which connote different spaces across the narrative, a visual map of Leah’s story, though I’m not sure how much they add.

This is a topical, and vital piece of theatre delivered by a clear talent, that discusses rape as well as the society that so often justifies and perpetuates it.


Reviewed by Amelia Brown

Photography by The Other Richard



Soho Theatre until 22nd September



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