During a sex scene in the film Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s character announces from beneath the sheets, ‘This is the most fun I’ve ever had without laughing.’ Crowtown Theatre Company’s production of Bonk! isn’t much fun and I didn’t laugh. The act of sex isn’t inherently funny or really all that interesting to anyone except the parties directly involved. People and all their sexual neuroses are funny. If Bonk! focused more on relatable human characters and less of a slew of of bland sitcom robots, it might manage to be more than occasionally mildly humorous.

Bonk! is adapted from a book of the same title by Mary Roach. I’m not sure why anyone reading non-fiction about the science of sex would immediately feel that it was destined to be a stage production but it perhaps it might have worked. Maybe the book is actually amusing. The show, however, has all the comedic brilliance of the commentary from the back row of a Year 8 sex-ed class. We meet a remarkably dull sex researcher, (Anh Chu), who’s about to lose her funding unless she comes up with something revolutionary. Meanwhile, her husband, (Adam Courting), worries that their love life is getting too mixed up with her work. Her lab assistant is having an affair with her husband’s friend and her students are an immature bunch interested in the phenomena of distance ejaculation competitions (exactly what it sounds like, still not funny). None of these characters are terribly compelling - they’re just around to set up a variety of stale jokes. A woman faking an orgasm in a public place is a gag that rightfully belongs to When Harry Met Sally. In this case, I really didn’t want to have what she was having. The condom-on-a-banana bit is as old and unfunny as someone slipping on a banana peel.

The show also contains three songs but unfortunately, none of them are remotely funny, and the whole effort at cheerful musical interludes just comes across as filler. The cast may well be talented comedians, but with a script as wooden as this it’s impossible to tell. The best bits were quick improvised asides to the audience (‘Can YOU do that?’) and Courting’s cameo as an animal sex expert who explains exactly how hedgehogs mate, (yes, very carefully, but there’s more to it than that).

Mixing tired sex jokes with a mess of scientific jargon is about as hilarious as the Kinsey Report. Perhaps Roach’s book is funny and informative, but as a show Bonk! is tired, dull, and flaccid. Am I allowed to say flaccid? I think in this context I am certainly allowed to say flaccid. Flaccid flaccid flaccid.

Reviews by Lauren Moreau


Near Gone

Dance Base

An Invitation...

Greenside @ Nicolson Square

She Loves Me

Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar

Champagne Tutored Tasting


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.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
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.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

Bonk! is a hilarious journey through the science of one of Britain's favourite not-talked-about subjects ... sex! Strap yourselves in for a fun-filled ride. Bonk! will have you looking inside your bedclothes in a whole new light!

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets