Jo Romero: Scenes of A Sensual Nature | Review by Steve Bennett
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Jo Romero: Scenes of A Sensual Nature

Note: This review is from 2015

Review by Steve Bennett

Not quite a sketch show, and not quite a theatre show, comedian Jo Romero’s eclectic series of sex-based vignettes varies from the awkwardly funny to the just plain awkward.

Most amusing is Dalia, a fierce Armenian masseuse with dreams of X-Factor fame, and her client, played by Mick Ferry in a recurring sketch-like scenario. There’s a nice juxtaposition between his infatuation and her brutal manner, which in itself can be wittily blunt, making for a memorable creation. Plus there’s the sight of the none-too-svelte Ferry with his top off, an image so intrinsically funny that he’s previously done a whole Edinburgh show based on the fact.

The most intense concerns a terse, niggly marital row with a compellingly harsh David Mills, played straight, without seeking laughs. While somewhere in between Romero’s stalkery, zoo worker has a creepy school reunion with James Dowdeswell that turns more than a little bit Misery. Dowdeswell’s acting is at first a little limited, but he relaxes into it as the stakes rise in this darkly amusing scene.

And finally Romero plays a new-age online sex guru, alongside a subdued Gary Colman. It might be trite to complain that a skit about Tantric sex is a little slow to reach its climax, but the payoff is sharp, while Colman’s grim deadpan and Romero’s passive-aggressive cruelty make for an intriguing combo.

While this production from the Comedians’ Theatre Company is a little uneven, it’s a decent showcase for Romero’s writing talents and a better one for her acting ones; while the supporting comics acquit themselves well too.

One practical bugbear is that this very basic Cowgatehead venue is ill-suited for the play… anything below chest height is very hard to see from all but the front few rows, which proves limiting for a show about sex.

Review date: 16 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH Free Fringe @ Bar Bados

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