Arts Review: STaG (New Works) – Gerascophobia and The (Very Brief) History of Sex

Tuesday 25th of Tuesday, Webster’s Theatre 

Gerascophobia

four

Gerascophobia presents a tale of two young men in their twenties divided by class and education. This refreshingly local, Glaswegian humour filled play hits very close to home. The personal struggles of Greg who is conflicted between his principles and precarious employment in an upmarket restaurant comes to a head when he is reunited with an old friend, James, at a house party, who is revealed to have given up his dream of acting and is now studying for a Master’s degree in Finance. The simplicity of the set: a garden bench with dark lighting adds to the tense, yet humorous atmosphere throughout the play.  

The performance also addressed the notion of toxic masculinity. Both men are crippled by an inherent lack of self-confidence: James is revealed to have given up acting, simply because he thought he was “shite at it.” Whereas, Greg is recovering from the end of a relationship and that he is too ashamed to tell anyone about. 

However, the performance ends on a promising note. Both men return to the party, dancing together. Perhaps showing, there is nothing like dancing to good music with your friends which can momentarily fix anything. 

The (Very Brief) History of Sex- 5 q’s 

five

From the origin of our species up until the days of swiping right (or left!), The (Very Brief) History of Sex engaged its audience with a dynamic cast and hilarious singing. All the performers worked incredibly hard to present an intersectional play that was relatable to anyone in the vibrant spectrum of human sexuality. However, I would like to particularly mention the versatility of Julia Hegele’s acting ability. An enthusiastic actor who portrayed a variety of roles such as melodramatic, Egyptian housewife to a vulnerable present-day character who was struggling to come to terms with their lack of sexual experience. With the support of her fellow actors, Julia wonderfully highlighted to the audience that the history of sex is for everyone, regardless of your sexual identity.

This incredibly fast-paced performance was aided superbly with a plethora of simple, yet effective costume changes and stereotypically romantic music which helped progress the transitioning scenes. Moreover, I would also like to commend the other actors for their strong performance in the various time-periods of the play. Pat Nehls portrayed an incredibly bashful, yet fiery Cupid, secondly, Bailey Camack’s depiction of an 11th-century Irish Priest drew an array laughs from the audience, and likewise Annie Bird’s performance as a David Attenborough-style narrator of the Neanderthal scene was well-received by audiences too. 

The programme of STAG’s ‘New Works’ promises to celebrate creative writing and new talent. My viewing of both Gerascophobia and The (Very Brief) History of Sex confirmed this for me. You can clearly see that both the actors on-stage and the production teams behind-the-scenes are all incredibly, talented individuals, who deserve a great amount of praise for their work. Both performances would deserve a chance to be performed at the Fringe Festival this year in Edinburgh.

[Serena Black – she/her – @_serenaemily

[Photo credit: STaG]

 

Leave a Reply