#SheReviews 44 Sex Acts In One Week

May 24, 2024

Michelle Beesley

As a romance writer I am familiar with all levels of steam, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when my husband and I set off to review the Opening Night performance of 44 Sex Acts in One Week. The dress code was “Bring Back the Wild” and there was plenty of animal print, fake fur and wild outfits in the excited crowd.

This critically acclaimed show is part of the 2024 Brisbane Comedy Festival, promising audiences a sexy and hilarious rom com. It’s styled as a radio play with plenty of ripe Queensland produce as a feature. Think melons, bananas and a mango or two! Have I caught your attention yet?

Featuring a cast of four of Australia’s best actors and written by the witty David Finnigan, 44 Sex Acts in One Week was one of the hits of the Sydney Comedy Festival. After a lovely dinner by the river on a perfect Brisbane evening, we eagerly took our spots in the darkened theatre at the Brisbane Powerhouse ready for a laugh a minute evening. We were greeted by frogs, fruit and tinsel. I hoped that my mango allergy could be kept at bay!

The Story

Celina is a journalist stuck writing clickbait for a lifestyle blog (sounds familiar!). It falls to this closet academic to road test a new book, 44 sex acts that will change your life so that she can pay her rent. All she has to do is experience 44 different kinds of sex, across the full spectrum of kink by Friday. Easy, right!

The only problem is that she needs a partner. And the only person available is her nemesis, brooding animal activist /office mail boy Alab Delusa. Sworn enemies they now have one week to explore the endlessly undulating terrain of sex, from BDSM to role play, from polyamory to exhibitionism. And with no time to recover. Can all this extra friction between them strike sparks?

From the razor-sharp pen of David Finnigan, we enjoyed a racy pressure cooker sexcom – come – radio – play about what drives humanity to go all the way toward the end of civilisation as we know it. Amidst all the fun there’s a commentary on climate change, sexual mores, capitalism and intergenerational feminism which all collide in a slippery, subversive and surprisingly heartfelt apocalypse.

The show makes use of its small cast and relatively pared back set, designed by Trent Suidgeest well. The orgy scene will have you laughing out loud as will the noises created by sound team led by Keelan Ellis. You won’t believe the aural effects that can be made using just paper, combs, fruit and all manner of props. The music was also a feature for me.

The Cast

The cast of four talented Australian actors bring a wealth of experience and fun to this hilarious and razor-sharp satirical work. Their chemistry is a joy to watch. There is plenty of physical comedy, pop culture references, sound gags, foley effects and bawdy banter in this piece and the cast were amazing, sharing a variety of roles.

The talented actor and one of the producers at Clubhouse Productions, Rebecca Massey led the way as an energetic sex guru / therapist and also to hardened editor of the magazine – She Squad. (Yes, we at She Society had a laugh too). Her energy was astounding. I think she was an acrobat in another life. She had us howling with laughter and her comedic timing was spot on. A stellar turn from this vivacious actress!

Aaron Tsindos played the office mail boy and climate activist, Alab who agrees to participate in the experiment with journalist, Celina (Amber McMahon). Their disdain for each other in the first few scenes is palpable before they begin to see each other in a new light as the experiment progresses. I loved watching their chemistry unfold and Aaron seemed completely comfortable in this role. Amber’s experience on stage allowed me to believe in her naivety and she seemed to grow up in front of our eyes. It was not lost on this author that it seemed as though this character was mirroring my own daily life with the blog writing and dreams of being an author.

Nancy Denis shares two disparate roles. The first is Celina’s friend and colleague at the magazine and then a hardened activist who is a friend of Alab. She does a great job when having to play both roles on stage at once. She is a bundle of fun and sets a modern tone to the work and enables us to see each of the love interests’ sides.

The cast were having fun and consequently we did too. There is no nudity despite the title and in these assured hands the play was naughty without descending into seediness.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to peg someone in a camping supplies store at 10 am on a Wednesday this one is for you. It lightly touches on modern issues that affect us all without being preachy and it has frogs, fun and fruit, some of the loveliest things on earth.

I know you will have lots of laughs. But you will have to be quick! 44 Sex Acts in One Week runs in Brisbane until May 26 at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.