If you name your show Clown Sex, it has a lot to live up to. Luckily, this new one-woman show by Natasha Sutton Williams succeeds in delivering a show that is as filthy, provocative and bizarre as its title suggests.
Our main character is a creepy man called Gary Strange who lives in the sewers and spends his time listening in to the stories of the world above. Especially the rude ones. The piece is framed as Gary telling us two of the stories he has heard, and one from his own experience. The first story is about a lascivious schoolteacher whose desires get the better of her. The second story is about a woman who gets to know a cat a little too well. The third story is about Gary’s encounter with a clown, and… well I’m sure you can guess where that story goes.
Clown Sex is outrageous, but there is a deep thematic underpinning that stops it from being shocking for shocking’s sake. The show is essentially an exploration of sex and sexuality, and runs the gamut from how sex can ruin someone’s life, how it can make someone’s life, and those sexual experiences where the significance isn’t at first immediately clear. The stories walk a tightrope (appropriately enough) of comedy and tragedy without either being watered down.
Sutton Williams’ impressive physicality is evident in the way multiple characters are acted out in each story. Effortlessly switching from one person to the next, embodying a diverse array of personalities in a way that is theatrical, whilst at the same time revealing the melancholy when tragedy unfolds. The stories are fantastic and ridiculous, yet there is no trace of irony in the way every absurd line is sold.
Clown Sex is a unique, naughty, and impressive piece of work from Sutton Williams. It’s not for the easily offended, but if you’re easily offended, why are you seeing a show called Clown Sex?