Peep

Various

Assembly George Square

From 31 July 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

Peep is a concept rather than a single performance. Its daily programme includes works by the likes of Kay Adshead, Luke Barnes, Pamela Carter, Kefi Chadwick, Melissa Dunne, Sabrina Mahfouz and Leo Butler.

The overall theme is sex and the presentation unusual for staged work in that, rather than bringing an audience together, its members are divided by the walls of individual booths and separated from performers (literally in a white box) by a two-way mirror arrangement.

Reaction will inevitably be different depending on the show(s) viewed and an initial taster was the late night cabaret slot, The Money $hot.

This is a sex show put on by Empress Stah and her guest. The five short dances include a straitjacket, plastic cat suit and a Whitney Houston skit that takes tastelessness to new levels. Some might also feel that the final dance with strategically placed firework takes performance to excess.

The scene changes are glossed with voiceovers about the politics of sex, which are presumably intended to give this half-hour event a veneer of seriousness.

Much better fare came with the Pamela Carter, Kefi Chadwick and Kay Adshead afternoon Triple-bill: Meat, SexLife and Happy Ending.

Once again sex is high on the agenda but peeped at more cerebrally. Meat sees the consequences after a wife, Saskia Portway’s Sarah, catches her husband, Liam Smith playing Dave, enjoying Internet pornography.

Her attempts to understand the attractions become more complex after she admits to following in his footsteps (or breadcrumbs).

SexLife views Dan and Mia, played by Richard Pepper and Bella Heesom, trying to recover their sexual chemistry three months after the birth of their first child.

Initially, hubby’s decision to use a Rocky Horror cross-dressing kit has the opposite impact to that intended but gradually, matters improve.

Happy Ending, the final short play completing around 75 minutes, is a rather confusing series of three short monologues delivered by Bella Heesom, playing both the daughter of a woman raped by a swan and a bold 11-year-old boy who befriends her.

On this showing Peep is rather hit and miss but contains some interesting work, as long as you can live with the solitude.