THE CRITICS : Perverse pleasures: a critic writes
Sunday 28 July 1996
If, instead, you get a kick from the whiff of failure or collect critical flops, this 90-minute show, produced by Michael White (who gave us Oh! Calcutta! and The Rocky Horror Show), and featuring the soft-rock lesbian band Fem 2 Fem, delivers the same sadistic pleasures as the late-lamented Fields of Ambrosia.
Sanity disappears with the last glimpse of the safety curtain, which rises to reveal dancers moving with graceful solemnity in white underpants. The audience has to make a quick interactive choice: laugh at the show or with it.
Let's call it a spoof musical (and laugh with it), a piece of dippy kitsch about a girl from Virginia, Jane (the blonde, mock-virginal Sally Anne Marsh), who goes to New York and discovers sex (or really, the sex industry). The book and lyrics, by Michael Lewis and Peter Rafelson, are as cheerfully and brazenly inane as the thumping bass line. I quote: "How are you doing? What's your name?" "Fine, thanks. I'm Jane." In the background a voice whispers: "Sex on a Train." (This exchange drew a cheer from the noisy first-night audience.)
Voyeurz offers a catch-all mixture of period sex. There's Eighties religious imagery (Madonna cast-offs) with semi-naked dancers thrusting their pelvises at scaffolding. Then there's nostalgic Sixties stuff: sitars, cornflowers, and naked dancers hymning the joys of tantric sex. In terms of outrageousness it doesn't take us much further than the tarts displaying their wares in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). The fetishistic props - the high heels, handcuffs, whips and leather thongs - are as familiar to modern audiences as tennis rackets, cigarette boxes and French windows were to pre-war ones.
From the back of the stalls, with stage smoke, lighting and music, and a dozen dancers wiggling away, this celebration of kinkiness looked about as offensive as a seaside postcard. It would be hard to know what to praise in Voyeurz. But perversely I quite enjoyed it.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...