The innovative, Perth-based theatre company, The Last Great Hunt, delivers a dynamic, provocative and pointed comedy; ‘The Talk’ tackles the challenges faced by teens—especially—girls, when it comes to finding out about all things sexy.
Now, I’m not the type of person who’d laugh at a pudding crawl—but this show had me suppressing giggles from start to end in true juvenile-fashion.
The lights go out and the classic sound of an iPhone’s ringtone echoes throughout the theatre. A confused and embarrassed member of the audience next to me starts frantically shuffling through their bag, presuming they’re the culprit who forgot to switch their phone to silent, only to realise—after a few prolonged seconds—that the sound is coming from the speakers.
After the ensuing prank call ends, three young girls walk on stage wearing school PE kits and sequined fanny-packs, from which they pull out a mic and buoyantly break into Salt-N-Pepa’s Lets Talk About Sex. And boy, did they talk about sex.
The story follows fifteen-year-old Eva (Cassidy Dunn), who desperately wants to know more about sex after a disappointing “first time” experience. Instead of helpful answers, she encounters painfully meticulous chlamydia slides from her teachers, fictitious sex facts (or myths) from her friends and a short (unrequited) insight into her parents’ early sex history.
Every other character in the play is performed by Megan Hunter and Christina Odam, who make seamless transitions and each character distinct, dynamic and authentic. I was especially impressed with Megan Hunter’s rendition of dorky teenage boy, Mikey—ironically dubbed “The Porn King”—who has an insect reproductive system fixation, and is secretly smitten by Eva.
Throughout the performance the trio break into sex-themed pop songs, ranging from the 80s to now. Other than a few slip-ups while rapping Bloodhound’s The Bad Touch—which is pretty forgivable—their vocals and harmonies were spot-on. Christina Odam’s vocals were particularly impressive, especially considering the girls were often bouncing around the stage, thrusting out comically lewd moves.
Writer and director Gita Bezard definitely nailed her representation of a contemporary high school teen—which I’m sure every millennial female can relate to—through the snappy dialogue, brimming with colourful language.
But behind the slapstick comedy, the narrative explored a subject more taboo than “the talk”—it’s precisely a lack of talking about the empowerment of female sexuality, pleasure and the double standards faced by teenage girls that really defines this play. For me, the play probes deeper into the dichotomy between how we behave and talk about sex around girls, in contrast to boys. Through the hilarious but damning reaction from Eva’s parents and peers to her ownership of a vibrator, the play illustrates how young girls are often shamed for their sexuality, whereas for boys this is usually accepted as perfectly natural.
All-in-all, I had a good laugh and a great night. The show runs for nine nights only and finishes on April 21, so if you’re nostalgic for that awkward coming of age phase of your life or you’re just a bit of a clueless parent—you’ll definitely want to go see this one.