FEATURE – THEATRE REVIEW
It sounds like a risky concept: asking people to share their stories on how they lost their virginity. However, over 53,700 stories have been shared on MyFirstTime.com, the inspiration for the stage production written by Ken Davenport, which has been running in New York for over two-and-a-half years.
The Playhouse at Sydney Opera House hosts the Australian version this summer from 3-19 January, 2013*. It’s not on for long. The stories are certainly as billed: silly, sweet, funny, absurd, shy, sexy, heterosexual, homosexual and everything in between.
Sharon Millerchip, Josef Ber, Annie Maynard and Kristian Schmid star in this 90-minute play. It was difficult to pick who stole the show. Although, my favourite was Maynard, who delivered her stories with clinical timing and superb body language.
Audience members were asked to fill out a quick survey on losing their own virginity before the show, which the cast members later used cleverly to rouse the room with laughter.
The show began with all four actors seated with an iPad to aid their storytelling. What appeared to be a discussion soon turned into dramatic revelations, which left no scenario off limits.
The stories are taken directly from the website, which is very simple in design and primarily focused on giving people a forum to discuss this once-only phenomenon.
If you did it, then you probably remember it. So, tell us about your first time. Was it passionate and tender? Or awkward and clumsy? Chances are, if you’ve made it this far down the page, there’s already a memory or two lurking in the shadows of your mind. So, go ahead, indulge yourself. You can probably remember them now… and where you were. If you’re lucky, you might even still know them so you can ask for the details you can’t remember. (Ask those questions very, very carefully. And watch out for flying objects.) Take a trip down memory lane. All we ask is that you write a little as you go. This is your chance to immortalise that special moment you shared together. Record it for all of eternity. Who knows, maybe someone can learn from your mistakes!
Interestingly, not all of the stories are awkward, regretful experiences. There are a number of moments where some horrific encounters became very real.
Maynard tells a story of a young girl whose brother was dying of leukaemia. After confessing to her that he had never had sex, and feared he never would, she decided to oblige his wish in the back seat of their parents’ car on a trip up the Coast.
Schmid made light work of the nerdy, shy characters and proved to be highly versatile. While Ber, whose American accents were bang-on, made the line between rape and consent seem eerily blurred.
Without doubt, the story of the show was the Coke Douche. I won’t spoil it for anybody but Millerchip plays the Puberty Blues-like Australian with ease, and certainly got the loudest applause of the night.
If laughter equates to satisfaction, then last Friday night’s audience were well satisfied.
Everyone remembers their first time. Some of us look back on it in hysterics, others are heartbroken. I recommend this play to anyone who can see the humour in what is usually, a rather anticlimactic sexual discovery.
My First Time, presented by Sydney Opera House and Kay & McLean Productions.
Performance dates: 3-19 January, 2013* at the Playhouse. Tickets from $39. Book online.
* Updated: 8 January, 2013