Rachel Lincolns’ latest production gives the brutally honest lesson in Sexual Education that Britain needs. Be warned! You may never be able to look at stationary in the same way ever again.
The quality of our nation’s sexual education has come under criticism over the past few years and Rachel Lincoln’s satire is perfectly on point.
The show begins with one of the most original and hilarious opening sequences I’ve seen at the Fringe. I won’t give any spoilers away, but it involves a dramatic blackout, a condom and a torch. Shortly after this we are introduced to the prim, proper and prudish Miss Got Told, who will be covering our classes lesson today of - gasp - Sex Ed!
Armed with her ammunition of pencils, pens and sharpeners we are taught about the dangers of STIs, the risks social media and the ins and outs of homosexual activity which are demonstrated with the help of some board markers. On top of this imaginative use of props, the show has some weight to it too. We learn more about Miss Got Told’s past and how, through her lack of schooling in the matter of the birds and bees, she ended up as this angsty shamble.
Lincoln was taught at the renowned Jacques Lecoq school and her training has payed off. Her characterisation of Miss Told is fabulously awkward. Almost the whole show is performed non-verbally and there are moments where this lack of oral communication leaves the performance a bit static. Still, the physical comedy of the piece more than makes up for this.
There are elements of audience interaction, as it is customary at the Fringe, but these elements of the practical lesson are not humiliating and usually involve everyone. For example, there is a point at which we are all instructed to make paper aeroplanes and throw them at a cling-film-wrapped Miss Told, to demonstrate the importance of contraception. If you do a good enough job, you could be rewarded with a gold star.
Not only this is a masterclass in physical comedy, it also has depth. The quality of our nation’s sexual education has come under criticism over the past few years and Rachel Lincoln’s satire is perfectly on point.