FRINGEWORLD: Smasher (4 stars)

Review by Amanda Lancaster

“Sexy, Sexy, Sexy!” This is how the audience are greeted by comedic performer Helen Duff upon entering her intimately staged one woman show. A sexy vibe, a pleasurable experience is what she is attempting to create she tells us…..which is a little hard to process given that we are bring addressed by a giant blue sperm.

Welcome to the absolutely shameless, boldly ridiculous, embarrassingly funny journey that is Helen Duff’s failing relationship with the Big O and her determined attempt to attain it. If you are looking for a show that treats the intimate subjects of sex with a little subtlety you are definitely out of luck. Duff gives an amazingly high spirited, over the top, make you groan and squirm performance right from the get go. In fact so bold and shameless is her approach to the subject matter and herself that any discomfort or embarrassment the audience may have felt is easily stripped away and replaced by the mutual, underlying knowing feeling that is being able to relate to the darker, more ridiculous aspects of her honesty.

Throughout the performance we are treated to numerous performance mediums including bad one liner pick up jokes, personal tales and experiences, short bursts of lewd song lyrics, survey questions and even a vagina monologue…..which I do mean quite literally! Duff is a fearless and captivating performer, improvising and adapting at lightning speed to the audiences reactions. Her comedic timing and lack of inhibition make the shows subject matter playful and entertaining while simultaneously managing to deconstruct the preconceived notions of niceties an neuroses that stigmatise our ideas of sexual pleasure.

Without giving too much away, that would ruin the shows pleasurable build up of hilarious twists and turns it is hard to describe more. However this is an absolute riot of a show. A must see symbolic experience that culminates in the clear denouement of how most of us, and indeed Helen herself experience that great Big O.

When: 17 – 21 February, 2016 (10pm)

Where: Deluxe, Perth Cultural Centre PERTH

Tickets: Rushtix from $10

Info: Duration 55 minutes, Recommended 18+