EFR - Reviews of Bonk!

Bonk!

Tue 6th – Sat 24th August 2013

reviews

Mona Damian

at 03:29 on 21st Aug 2013

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A very scientific approach to sketches on sexual health and relationships offers a fresh lease of life to this rather overexploited and clichéd comic subject matter. ‘Bonk!’ proves unpredictably accessible and does not descend into overtly crude or even plain offensive humour, as can so easily be the case with a show that engrosses itself entirely with “sex research”.

Some simple but effective staging allows the five-strong cast to slickly move from sketch to sketch, in a speedy streak through bedroom secrets and curiosities. The intimate venue as well as the cast’s tendency to infiltrate the audience’s seating area ensures everyone is taken along for the ride of Dr Cat’s (Anh Chu) tireless research.

The production is comprised of several sub-plots, all of which feed into the main story (following Dr Cat and her struggle to balance the needs of her job with those of her husband, Adam Courting) in a cleverly inter-woven mesh of sketches. A heart-warming overall effect is created, as each separate story manages to find the solution to it problem in a different plot line. The seamless movement between sketches provides opportunity for every cast member to showcase their talent. Though perhaps sometimes lacking a little in energy, the cast effortlessly negotiated the quick firing script and offers a highly polished show.

What gives ‘Bonk!’ such a free and fresh feel is its minimalistic approach. Besides one another, the cast are not aided by any substantial props and each sketch itself is kept to a bare minimum when it comes to content: the dialogue tends to cut straight away to the crux of any matter, without unnecessary divergence. It is this direct minimalism that underlines the charmingly open and direct discussion, often followed by an even more direct demonstration, of every possible curiosity one might ever have had of Dr Cat’s field of speciality.

‘Bonk!’ proves that naughty subject matter can be both brilliantly direct and yet tackle some deeper issues in a light and approachable way. Likable puntastic fun, but perhaps not for the whole family.

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Marnie Langeroodi

at 11:17 on 21st Aug 2013

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I was slightly dreading what could have been an unbelievable play. However, I was put at ease by the opening, which promised a good time through simple sing-song rhyme and a guitar.

This is like a really funny version of that time your teacher whipped out a banana in sex-education class. Moments of hilarity, some downright disgusting are to be expected, for example ‘sperm-tasting’; yes, it happened.

This production is laugh-out-loud funny and the whole cast is strong. This meant that the play wasn’t too awkward or embarrassing, but just great fun. Adam Courting stole the show wherever dancing was involved. However, I think most viewers will agree that Jessica McKerlie seriously deserves to be commended for having the sheer unrestrained confidence to act out an orgasm live on stage, and in such an intimate venue.

The actors interact with and sit amongst the audience. They laugh, we laugh. This technique meant that the audience fully engaged with the play, encouraged by the blurring of performers and spectators.

Various concepts such as the television show give structure to the performance. We recognise various locations: the lecture hall, Cat’s home etc. McKerlie routinely enters and exits, dropping one-liners with great comic timing. A hint of gay politics added another level to the show, as did the tension in sexpert Cat (Anh Chu) and her husband’s relationship. Overall, the play was professional, neatly performed and tightly controlled.

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