A Guide to Sexual Misery

Written and performed by Wolfgang Weinberger
Duchess Theatre

Publicity photo

Presenting himself as a 'sexologist', the Austrian Wolfgang Weinberger enters the stage and welcomes a (very) small audience to the Duchess Theatre. He questions whether his show is a talk, a lecture, a stand-up show or even therapy. In reality this show can only be classed in the 'pointless' category. Whilst Weinberger suggests that he is trying to further the sexual revolution by offering some frank and otherwise unanswered insights into our 21st century sex lives, he is woefully misguided. All he really offers is puerile and thoughtless, and, to be honest, if you spent half an hour on the internet on some effectively managed sexual health websites you'd find out far, far more.

However, it is a sad truth that it is still possible just to say the word sex to a British audience today and some people will get some sort of kick out of it. Weinberger draws some sketchy diagrams on a flip chart and presents 'facts' from a conference of sexologists in Austria. He asks the audience to hum in response to his questions, rather than doing a show of hands, to indicate the level of agreement with his statements. By the second half he divides the sexes and compares answers from each side of the room.

I am doing you, dear reader, and indeed him, a favour by saying that his conclusion that we should communicate more about sex with our partners is no earth-moving climax. If this really is news to you, then perhaps this show would be informative for you. Weinberger neither adds to his credit nor takes his own advice by being poorly responsive to his audience. It is quite clear he has a learned script and certain expected answers to his questions, and when he gets a contrary answer (or 'hum') from the particular evening's audience he lacks 'in the moment' reaction to it.

What's worse is that there is a noticeably detectable sexist undertone to Weinberger's output. His so called 'rock hard solid science' facts about women's sexuality is laughably shallow and pitiable. As one audience member pointed out, a man who spent the entire first half on stage without his trousers properly done up, is perhaps purely presenting 'bollocks' (in all senses) and not someone you would like lecturing you on what you want in bed. Is all that women want from sex just 'more' as he pronounces? Hardly - surely what everybody wants is better sex. Possibly what we do need more of is better presented, carefully researched and, at the very least, funnier and well written shows about sex. This is not one such show. Using the gag 'A man over forty is like a toilet, either already engaged or full of shit' unfortunately hits too close to home with this out-of-date, superficial presentation.

Beth O'Brien reviewed this production at the Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewer: Sacha Voit