The Revolution Will Be Sexual

East End Cabaret
Arcola Theatre Tent
(2011)

The Revolution Will Be Sexual publicity photo

This is an hour-long show that wowed audiences on the Edinburgh Fringe. It is a longer version of an act seen earlier in London and is now playing in a tent just around the bend of Ashwin Street from the main Arcola theatre.

The performers, who call themselves Bernadette Byrne and Victor-Victoria, have a lively line in numbers of a sexual nature, not so much innuendo as in-yer-face, and are pretty sexy themselves: Bernadette straight out of a between-the-wars Berlin or Budapest boîte with a darkly sexy voice and Victor-Victoria as split down the middle male/female figure, moustached and trousered one side long hair and organdie skirt the other, full of insouciant charm and adept on accordion, keyboards and musical saw. .

There is a hint of a lesbian leaning in the background but the material seems entirely heterosexual with numbers that range from one about ping pong balls (and a discreet demonstration of what they do with them in Thailand) to one about a remarkably rigid penis by way of ones called "Danger Wank" and "My Sex is on Fire" and a little demonstration of politicized sex involving a hammer and sickle and David Cameron with the warning, "You always know the Tories are going to fuck you".

I found myself greeted by the delightful duo as I entered and found a female clown and a sprinkling of lascivious ladies already distracting the punters as they waited for the performance to begin rather belatedly, not that most of the audience cared for they were knocking back the bevvies and enjoying a bit of cosy interaction which may recur during the performance proper: one guy being grilled about his favourite sexual positions the night I went..

It is nicely naughty but, though I suppose prudes should be warned to stay away if they don't like being encouraged to regularly "touch themselves", it will hardly shock those who buy a ticket.

I found some of the delivery difficult to catch, the mics perhaps up a little too high when being worked so close too, but it was a preview so that will probably have been sorted and the pleasure comes as much from the personalities of the performers as from their material. It is a pity it only lasts an hour.

"The Revolution Will Be Sexual" runs Thursday to Saturday at the Arcola Theatre Tent until 26th November 2011

Reviewer: Howard Loxton