Live Review: Erotic Intelligence for Dummies

Erotic Intelligence 2 low-res 7

Erotic intelligence for dummies
Brisbane Festival
QUT – The Block September 26

Opening night for Helen Cassidy’s “Erotic Intelligence for Dummies” was sold out.

So far most of the QUT shows of the festival this year have been stacked with arty “air-kisser” types complete with accoutrements of varying peacock hair colour, hatcheted undercuts, and striped socks. But this show attracted an unusual herd of suburban couples dressed like they’re going to the movies on a Sunday.

The curious suggestion of the title of such a show maybe presented itself as more of TAFE course to the ticket buying public – who knows, but the event was a sell out and lets hope there will be many more because Helen Cassidy deserves it with this edgy one-woman journey of sexual self-discovery.

Whipping straight into the show with rapid changes in character, costume and persona to educate us in the fine arts of sexual liberation, Cassidy’s comic knowledge of the mating habits of mammals and primates is impressive, it is doubtful Attenborough knows this much about the topic! But sex sells doesn’t it, and it helps if you’re sexy in this day and age to all sexes – and she is. Cassidy’s body – which is clearly a friend of the vegetable and no stranger to the yoga mat, is her billboard and she’s unabashed about it. She has cleverly woven a thread to tie all of her characters together which we all get to hang on to. It’s mad and manic but it’s easy to stick with. Whilst most topics raised are taboo in Church the presentation is witty and light hearted.

Challenges do arise as some audience members are shucked from the audience to participate in her hilarious dating games. But this is working without a net; and there is a clever transfer when witnessing what these volunteers are capable of as members of tonight’s unintentional support cast. It can be quite refreshing to see a real time reality show unfold as Cassidy goads the willing into hilarious versions of her “Sex Theatre Sports 101”. She channels shades of Norman Gunston when bumbling through some of her train wreck characters but can flip with ease to a delicious vamp.

Helen Cassidy is a professional actress (not dominatrix/stalker/botanist/koala she would have her characters make you believe); she does a bang up job in educating us mere Camry drivers of the demystification of the modern day sexual taboos albeit via a simple Mc Happy Meal presentation. It’s not complex and its not meant to be. It is chock full of contradictions of fluffy toys, black stockings, dad jokes, group sex role plays and lewd innuendos with snakes, but it’s good for belly laughs so get along and get into it. No one has been this sexy and cute since Maryanne was on Gilligan’s Island!! If you are into audience participation and need to get your sexual ideologies updated see this show when you can!!

Words by John Anon
Behind the lens Richard Maher


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