Nerdf*cker: a solo play with bad boundaries

Cameryn Moore has made a name for herself as one of the Fringe’s great taboo busters, especially on the subject of sex. Nerdf*cker, like her previous Fringe show Phone Whore, deals with unconventional desires in a refreshingly frank manner whilst also tackling the thornier issues of the commodification of desire and the exploitation of women in sexual environments. All of this makes it sound incredibly serious, which it most definitely is not. No, Nerdf*cker is a highly amusing and engaging character study of a woman with low self-esteem, searching for self-worth in all the wrong people and places and getting herself into situations that range from bizarre at best and exploitative at worst.

An important addition to current conversations about sex, relationships and power.

In this particular situation we, the audience, are visitors to some kind of convention for geeks, nerds and cosplayers to live out their weirdest and wildest sexual fantasies, waiting to see a chess match played on top of a naked woman’s back in a ‘fusion of flesh and furniture’. The problem is we’re early so Moore’s (notably unnamed) character has keep us entertained and she is definitely not used to being the centre of attention, preferring to work silently behind the scenes. I did mean it when I said it’s a bizarre setup.

However this approach certainly pays off as Moore uses this outrageous scenario to give a voice to the voiceless and objectified whilst also inviting us to reconsider what we think of as ‘normal’ in terms of sexuality and attraction. Moore’s script has an effortlessly natural sounding quality and manages to weave in insightful observations about unconventional attraction, double standards within the geek community and critiques of the commodification of desire underneath a layer of slightly nervous chitchat. At times this can feel somewhat aimless but as the show progresses we’re given enough clues about the characters on the other side of her mobile phone to realise the extent to which the naked woman is being knowingly and unknowingly exploited.


Overall Nerdf*cker isn’t quite as bracing as Phone Whore but proves itself to be an important addition to current conversations about sex, relationships and power.

Reviews by Liam Rees

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Performances

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The Blurb

An ode to geek love. A testament to passion. Everything is ready, right down to the polished pawns, but when one wrong move changes the game, a single-minded misfit faces a choice that could change her life. From the award-winning creator of Phone Whore comes this gripping new one-woman play that dives deep into obsession and will leave you breathless. Winner, Artistic Risk Award, 2016 Vancouver Fringe. ‘Tense, breath-taking little show’ ****(Edmonton Journal). **** (Vue Weekly). **** (Edmonton Sun). **** (Gigcity.ca) ‘Beautifully and insightfully written, precisely directed, and exquisitely, unflinchingly acted’ (Calgary Herald).

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