Reviewer: Vicki Taylor
Bryony Kimmings discovered she had an STI. Most people would quietly take their tablets and curl into a ball of shame: not Bryony. In Sex Idiot she dons a bizarre series of costumes and trawls through her sexual past to find the culprit. Yes, the tone is brash and the subject matter is crude, but the outcome is more moving and empowering than I would have imagined.
The hour long show begins with Kimmingsstuffing a plastic speculum in her mouth and graphically describing an STI test. She is hilarious right from the start, completely owning and redefining what it is to be a sexual woman in the 21st century. After finding out she has chlamydia she sends an email to all of her previous sexual partners – she counts and names them, second names and all. Someone in the audience gasps at her candour and she shrugs.
This is just an indication of how far she is willing to go. Nothing whatsoever is off limits; she mimes a selection of positions from the Karma Sutra along to suitable ‘bonking’ music and proudly dedicates the sequence to her mum. Instead of being cringe-worthy or try-hard,Kimmingsis powerfully honest, and all the more likeable for it.
It’s glorious to watch a performer who is genuinely free from inhibitions. She’s daring, sometimes scarily so, running headfirst into the boundaries to push them out of her way. I’ve seen shows where the performers are too quick to shove in a bare boob, or really any genitalia, to prove that they’re free or liberal or leftist, but not here. She’s vulgar and gratuitous, yes, but it totally makes sense. Even her explicit song about how she’d torture a cheating boyfriend gets some knowing nods, not because we’re all murderous, but we can relate to the broken heart fuelling it.
Kimmingsadmits that the show isn’t really about her STI, or even about sex. It’s about bad relationships and heartache and knowing when you’ve messed up. And if someone can tell you that while wearing a pair of lederhosen and a feathered headdress, you know you’ve got a keeper.