The Adelaide Repertory Theatre is getting racy with the upcoming season of the Australian premiere of It’s Just Sex.
Running from 18th until the 27th of June, It’s Just Sex is a funny and frank look at modern marriage, sex, fidelity and what couples get up to behind closed doors.
The story begins when three ordinary married couples, Joan and Phil, Greg and Lisa and Kelly and Carl spend an evening at a dinner party together.
With their teenage children away, the couples come out to play and as the drinks flow, their casual get together rapidly turns into something a lot more serious; secrets are revealed, boundaries are broken and inhibitions – and clothes – are removed.
Director Erik Strauts says the play, while funny, racy and a little risqué, is one that he hopes will also be thought provoking.
“This is not Shakespeare. It’s not brilliant, lyrical theatre but it looks at problems everyone in a relationship can relate to. The partner swapping is incidental, but it forces everything else to the front. In some ways it’s going to be interesting to see what the audience’s reaction to it,” he says.
“When I sat down with the cast a couple of months ago, we talked about what we want the audience to take away and we said it would be nice if on the way home, people revealed something to their partner they may not have mentioned before. We’re trying to incite conversation and make people look at themselves. Often humour makes people look at themselves and start thinking about what’s behind the humour.
“It’s about lust and trust. Be prepared to squirm, either with mirth or discomfort. Our challenge is to make it funny, but also thought provoking!”
After a record-breaking sell-out season in Los Angeles and an off-Broadway run that had critics raving, It’s Just Sex is celebrating its Aussie premiere here in Adelaide, which is one of the reasons Strauts chose the script.
“It was new and hadn’t been done in Australia before. It’s a topic that is universal and it wasn’t just a straight comedy. It’s a mix of comedy, and it has the ability to make people think a bit because the characters in the play suddenly have to come to terms with the consequences of their actions,” he says.
The Rep have issued an audience advisory warning for strong language, graphic scenes and very adult themes – a first for the company since its inception in 1908.
But despite the naughty nature of the show, Strauts says it’s clear from the playwright’s intent that there is a philosophical undercurrent and sex is, in fact, never just sex.
“It’s not just sex. It’s never just sex. We figured out when we were looking at the play, that its full name should be It’s Just Sex, Or Is It? We decided the author’s intent is that he’s asking the question,” he says.
“There’s no nudity in this, but it’s quite honest. The author hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew, he’s been very practical. This is restricted to heterosexual couples who are married. He hasn’t looked at bisexual or homosexual issues. It’s quite mainline, actually. An affair is only a problem in one of the relationships and even then, it’s not overdone. There’s no really weird stuff going on; even the swapping is incidental.”
It’s Just Sex will get swinging from June 18th to 27th at The Arts Theatre, 53 Angas St Adelaide, with all tickets $22 or less.
Book at adelaiderep.com or call 8212 5777.
James Whitrow, Bronwyn Ruciak, Luke Budgen, Sharon Pitardi, Johnathan Johnston, Tess O’Flaherty, Laura Antoniazzi, Izzy Rositano
By Libby Parker
Photos by Adelaide Repertory Theatre