REVIEW: The funny side to dating... Sex in Suburbia - Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Sex in Suburbia
Sex in Suburbia

Not the most sophisticated humour but amusing all the same, its Sex in the City meets stand-up quality resonating with the largely female crowd, who were obviously intent on having a good time and didn’t seem to mind the interruption of well-performed power ballads.

Co-wrote by actress and TV presenter Claire Sweeney, Sex in Suburbia uses the setting of a late-night radio show to explore tales of dating disasters and relationship woes.

Broadcasting live from Bury St Edmunds, its agony aunt host, Lindzi Germain, and guest presenter, Sweeney, dished out advice to listeners’ email or phone-in queries.

Some of the scenarios were acted out in sketches at the foot of the stage, with Sweeney’s portrayal of a woman’s failed seduction attempt on her football-mad husband among the most amusing.

Others included a macho cross-dressing husband whose alter-ego becomes his wife’s best friend, a man who convinces his wife to try ‘swinging’ but becomes jealous when she takes to it so well and a randy husband who, devoid of romantic flair, becomes suggestive with grocery items including a baguette which snapped in half, much to the amusement of cast and audience members alike.

Carl Patrick’s versatility as an actor added hilarity to the sketches, with a particularly comical portrayal of Sweeney’s painfully unsuitable Tinder date – a reminder that being single doesn’t equate to being desperate!

Sweeney, 44, a recent first-time mother, talked of the downside to pregnancy, from ‘hairs sprouting everywhere’ to ‘that dark line on your belly’, and the irony of spending your twenties desperately trying to avoid getting ‘knocked up’ only to long for it in your thirties and forties.

Aside from the risqué one-liners and the second half’s sex toys’ party where David Cameron, Gordon Ramsey and Jeremy Clarkson all got a mention, there is a serious undertone to the show – that it is never too late to find love and that being conventional just isn’t important.