A Guide to Second Date Sex

A terrifyingly authentic portrayal of the awkwardness and obstacles we all face when sleeping with a new sexual partner for the first time. This double hander, which uses projections and recorded voiceovers to reveal the characters’ innermost thoughts, is comforting and worrying in equal measure as it worms-out the audiences’ deepest, darkest and most intimate anxieties and then broadcasts them to a room full of strangers.

Amy Butterworth and Thomas O’Connell, who play the new lovers, both turn in excellent comic performances that display impeccable timing and a warmness of character which instantly sets the steaks. A desperation for intimacy and approval is quickly revealed within the two and this is where the real comedy comes from – a will-they-won’t-they scenario where the audience are omniscient and the players are hopelessly tied up by their attempts to second guess what the other is thinking.

Whilst some of the comic beats are a little obvious (worrying if one’s pubic region may need some light, pre-coitus pruning, for example) they are played with empathy and wrapped up in a script that is so well structured that the pacing is never affected. The rhythm of the piece is only disturbed once by an annoyingly trite revelation towards the end of the second act but the script quickly trots along to the next stage of the courtship and keeps the tension strong and the audience enthralled.

It is also a huge relief to see a fringe show that uses the same high quality within its pre-recorded material and does not simply rest on the laurels of the onstage action. The short video clips that punctuate the live drama are of a fine quality and obviously take no small amount of inspiration form the work of Edgar Wright – quickly cutting and zipping around the onscreen subject matter and keeping within the boundaries of the carefully crafted pacing.

A Guide to Second Date Sex is hilarious and heartfelt but, due to its unbelievable accuracy, may leave you feeling somewhat naked afterwards.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Witness the rawest most hilarious portrayal of male and female attitudes, anxieties and agonisingly familiar sex tricks as Ryan and Laura meet for their second date. A true story based on your sex life.

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