Play Puts The XXX In Sex

You'd have thought that the world was about to end after the premier of a new play here in London a couple of nights ago.

"It's pornographic," railed some, "it's art," screamed others. "It should be banned"....."no, it should run forever."

The play is "XXX" and "Oklahoma" it ain't.

It's the latest in an ignoble line that started with "Hair" and "Oh, Calcutta!" in the 1970s ... and continued through Nicole Kidman's nude scene in "The Blue Room." "XXX" though seems to have gone a little further. This "review" as they call it, currently playing at our highly respectable Riverside Theatre has a cast of four, two men and two women.
What's got the public buzzing and the Police rather interested, is that they don't just cavort about on stage, they do their best to get the audience involved and I'm not talking about the rather chaste dancing that went on at the end of Hair. No, the cast of "XXX" are after something much more specific when they ask for volunteers from their audience. They want their British theatregoers to get involved in 'every' sense.

Involved with the cast that is, if you get my drift, and in front of all the other paying customers too.

Don't think though, that Britain, after years of repression is suddenly bursting out all continental.

I suspect that 'La Fura Dels Baus', this hot blooded Spanish theatre group, has misjudged us. You see, whatever your preconceptions about us and however boastfully we talk, we Brits are really very tame. At the height of the hippie period, long hair and love ins were definitely for weekends only here. Punk never really happened. Oh, a few bank clerks cautiously dangled a safety pin or two from their suits, but the vast majority of Brits went about their daily business and left the purple mohicans to visiting tourists ...or bought a wig if they really wanted to impress. The vast majority of us go to soccer matches on Saturdays and run like the hounds of hell are after us if violence breaks out. So, this Spanish Theatre group may cause some puzzled looks and some outrage amongst the chattering classes, but I suspect that they'll have as much difficulty raising ...er... enthusiasm from their audiences ...as they're currently having selling tickets.

By Simon Bates
  • Bob Bicknell

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