Sex Education @ Summerhall

Sex Education is a energetic and timely performance piece that questions the way in which we talk about (or, rather, don’t talk about) sex and sexuality

Review by Sophie Smith | 09 Aug 2019
  • Sex Education @ Summerhall

Harry Clayton-Wright introduces himself to the audience with an immediate series of himself starring in pornographic pictures and clips that he later tells us have been broadcast on the internet so that they can belong to everyone rather than someone, meaning they belong to no one at all.

Clayton-Wright's show consists of a series of sketches which are both comedic in their brutal honesty, and at times hard-hitting. The basis of the narrative is an interview with his mother in which they discuss her adversity to sex education and talking about sex in comparison with his desire to do so openly and publicly. A recording of this conversation plays at times throughout the piece during which Clayton-Wright listens and reacts to the conversation, whilst doing different things such as cutting cucumber sandwiches or simply sitting in a large white wedding dress.

His message is clear: sex needs to be discussed in order for us to exist safely and happily amongst each other, and in order for us to perform and receive consensual and good sex. This message is both timely and necessary, of course, but the sketches Clayton-Wright performs can at times seem a little jumbled and confused, and although he cuts his comedy with honest if not harsh realities, these at times are delivered with an address that does not seem to deal with them properly, meaning they can uncomfortably seem like part of the joke. However, this is perhaps Clayton-Wright's intention, and is perhaps a mirroring of the way we tend to speak of such issues as a society – suddenly, and without much of a means to deal with them. 

All in all, Clayton-Wright gives a performance that is both funny and touching, and although we may not know exactly why he suddenly begins dancing to George Michael, or hands out cucumber sandwiches he then tells us he has put up his bum, it makes it no less entertaining to watch.

Sex Education, Summerhall (TechCube 0), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 7.10pm, £10-12