SEX on stage.

Not quite what you expect to see in your typical musical, but a darn sight more of it is needed in this day-and-age, don’t you think?

As much as a bit of on-stage raunch is as enticing to think about as it is to see, the newly-debuted Sexercise the Musical dances on the threshold of sexual imitation without the smut, making for a belly laugh of a show.

Derek Rowe, who wrote and composed the show, wanted it to be a true reflection of what – if anything – Melburnians would sing about were we given the chance. Obviously we’re all a bunch of sexually-frustrated beings with interpersonal complications if Sexercise is what resulted, but it’s not a direct reflection of any specific part of our culture.

Sexercise is a refreshing metaphor for the real struggle of managing the constantly changing and adapting nature of the relationships and friendships we have. Whether it’s sexual or not, they’re hard to navigate and whether they’re hetero, homo, or anything in-between, they all come with their ups and downs. 

The musical explores the strained domestic heterosexual relationship between Joe and Sam (Lyall Brooks and Nicole Melloy), the protagonists who represent “us” and goes into their marital problems that ring all too stereotypically familiar: controlling wife, lazy husband.

Throw-in an ex-porn star, sex-obsessed couple’s therapist, Rhonda (Fem Belling) with minor pitch control issues and enough womanly curves to adapt the fierce single lady “I don’t need no man” kind of personality and the scene is set.

Accentuated with the characters of Joe and Sam’s friends, the most homosexually appealing of which is Shane played by Kristin Holland, and a lesbian thrown-in (Tina played by Lulu McClatchy) for good measure, the musical is as all-encompassing as the best of them.

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Tina (left, played by Lulu McClatchy) is the show’s lesbian character

 

Problem being though, with so many characters, it felt at times difficult to relate to or care about whether Tina the lesbian would reunite with her mythical heterosexual wife-turn-same-sex-attracted lover on the side, or whether Andy, played by Cameron MacDonald would come out on top after better managing a tense relationship with his overbearing wife.

Still, the filler role of some of the characters aside, they worked their best in contextualising the musical into modern Australian culture. By taking hilariously contemporary phrases, idioms and general funnies from the way Australians speak and relate to each other, the show was so casually relatable that it felt right.

At the end of the day, the metaphor with which the show was created – sexercising – does enough to make you wish your sex life was as rampant and carnal as the main character’s, serving as much cardio benefit as the book by the same name tell us it does. But it’s the story behind all the sex, tantric practise and oral explorations that makes you love the mentally bereft ways we manage our relationships both inside and outside of the bedroom.

Sexercise the Musical is on until March 22 at Alex Theatre in St. Kilda, Melbourne. Details and tickets: sexercisethemusical.com

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