Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Theatre review: Vaginismus

Full-frontal romp

With the recent retirement of famed sex therapist Sue Johansson you may find yourself at a loss for appropriately entertaining ways in which to solve particular penile or vaginal disorders. Alas, during times of mild to severe sexual anxiety we all may be capable of making slips of the tongue that ultimately reveal aspects of our subconscious, lascivious intent. In an aroused dream-like state we may in fact entertain very conflicted choices about how we choose to act out our most heartfelt sexual fantasies.

So what do we do in order to quell any possible carnal indiscretion-cum-dysfunction? We slide out our volume of selected writings from the grand-daddy of all psycho babble-sex talk and peruse the words of the late great Dr Freud. In the hands of playwright and medical practitioner Valentine Draw, Freud’s writings become a playful full-frontal romp through erotic fantasies ranging from a Halloween-ishly bearded Sigmund F pontificating in the midst of naked bacchanalian-like nymphs and nymphettes to a luscious curtain call to end all curtain calls (more on that later).

This constant critic may have missed something crucial due to the overwhelming presence of taut muscular bodies and poorly lit private parts prancing menacingly across the stage, but the central premise of Vaginismus escaped my titillated first, second and third eye. Vaginismus, a clinical disorder that disables enjoyable vaginal intercourse, moves in and out of the script in a bewildering, nonlinear, dream-like manner, leaving the audience with a non-fashion show of bewildering proportions. Laced with long belaboured speeches by unnamed characters, the text and staging appeared to be a pseudo-Miltonic masque replete with half-human, half-animal creatures toppling in and out of each others God-given fleshy crevices.

Ultimately the much-awaited curtain call during this one-night only orgasma-glorified spectacle was the most entertaining aspect of the evening. With writer and director Draw embracing his jubilant and buck naked cast of young men and women, I was left with the astounding experience of realizing just how much fun and/or discomfort the cast must have had during rehearsals for this obtuse and consistently baffling piece of experimental theatre.

There was never a dull moment — coming in just under an hour — giving the discerning viewer precious little time to grunt and grimace. A couple of people left during the performance with the help of glowing cell phones but let’s give a generous reading of this fact by suggesting that these spectators were moved to promptly arrange their next penetrating seduction due to the power and the glory that Vaginismus so artfully attempted. This attempt became a bawdy, dogmatic pageant of unbridled juvenilia that might find better reception in a sex club or on library shelves reserved for psycho-analytic thought and action. But, ya know, the costumes — and lack thereof — were stupendous!