Paul T Davies reviews Ad Libido presented as part of the Pulse Festival 2019 at the New Wolsey Theatre.
Pulse Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
Fran Bushe is on a quest for a “normal” sex life, creating a show to examine why she suffers from Female Sexual Dysfunction, why she fails to achieve an orgasm, and, perhaps more importantly, why she has sex mainly to please her partners, even when it isn’t what she wants. I will confess, I had mixed feelings about seeing this show, not because of the content, but because there seems to a flock of performers exploring this subject matter on the fringe circuit. But I was unaware of how engaging Bushe is, and her show is hilarious, honest, poignant and very relatable to a lot of women in the audience!
It is performed to an excellent soundtrack, and she is careful to underline which parts of her story and show are true, (beginning with the ex-boyfriends who get in touch when they discover she is creating a show about her sex life!). Her original songs are hilarious, the lyrics having the audience in stitches, but she also delivers some beautiful poignancy and we feel tremendous empathy for her. One true aspect is the Sex Camp in Dorset, which I’m resisting the urge to Google, which is both funny and slightly disturbing in equal measure, and provides a fitting climax to the show, (sorry!)
It’s her openness and self-deprecating nature that makes this show a pleasure to watch, and she is also a superb stand-up comedian. She tells you things about dolphins which mean you won’t watch The Blue Planet in the same way again, (they are filthy!), and the whole joke about dolphins provides an excellent punchline to the show. Honest, in your face but classy, funny and true, if you ever get a chance to see Ad Libido, then do!