We have all been there. Girl/boy meets girl/boy in bar. Mutual attraction. Bit of flirting. Numbers swapped. Awkward goodbye. Fast forward to few days/weeks later and you are either trembling outside their flat waiting for them to answer to the door or jiggling about to Missy Elliot’s “Work It” stashing dirty laundry under the bed and trimming pubes. For this is A Guide to Second Date. And the Soho Theatre provides a very topical setting for this Dirty Stop Out Productions play.
A late night performance – directed by Stef O’Driscoll – and a sweltering studio stinking of air freshener and Lynx Africa turns out to be the perfect atmosphere for all the brewing tension and flurry of pheromones – positively contagious. One hour long and Amy Butterworth as the female and Thomas O’Connell as the male have our attention for every second. A Guide to Second Date Sex is engrossing, oh-so-funny and embarrassingly and comfortingly accurate: a trip down memory lane for sure.
Oh, how the audience roared and howled watching what we thought were tricks, techniques and trains of thoughts that were peculiar only to us in the prelude to “lovemaking” – the good old “are you ticklish?” technique, “don’t be too long or he think you’re doing a poo” dilemma and the veritable terror that sex sometimes brings. And here we were thinking no one else deliberates so intensely over whether to place hand on third party’s leg! Writer Rachel Hirons hit nail on head with a script that never, ever plateaus.
Tea Films’ video design gives the small space of Soho Theatre’s third floor studio extra added dimensions in space and time as we watch the First Date that has lead up to this Second Date; hear the inner anxieties and inner deliberations of Ryan and Laura and witness how sometimes men and women might not be too different after all when it comes to what they are really thinking about and during sex. But most of the time, yes, they do come from different planets!
The ever bold Dirty Stop Out Productions is just as willing as they were during When Women Wee to expose the uglier and least appealing facets of the average person’s behaviour – the Anti-Hollywood. Including the blow-by-blow, ahem, motions of that awkward and frightening experience of having sex with someone who don’t really know that well for the first time. The territory of what is really going on inside the mind of the person you are schtupping for the first time unchartered no more.
“A true story based on your sex life” – yup, certainly is. More please, Dirty Stop Out!