It almost doesn’t feel right for me to review a show like Ejaculation – Discussions About Female Sexuality (a pretty self-explanatory title for what claims to be a piece of documentary theatre about female sexuality.) as it is not a concept I can ever fully understand like a female audience member could, and I’m probably not able to gain the same things from the piece as female audience members. I can only comment as someone who is interested in the subject matter as an outsider and on the piece as a piece of theatre. For this reason, unfortunately, I have to say that I’m disappointed.

Firstly, this piece is not documentary theatre, at least it doesn’t play as such. It feels like a ted-talk-like lecture in which the lead performer (Essi Rossi), tells her story of discovering her sexuality, while interspersing it with audio recordings of interviews with several women from different backgrounds telling their stories accompanied by very minimalistic movements from Rossi and live music from Sarah Kivvi.

This is in no way a bad thing, however it is misleading to call something theatre, when it’s not dramaturgically sufficient to qualify as a piece of theatre. The movements performed alongside the interview soundbites are so minimalistic they add nothing and are made totally redundant. If the two performers were to call Ejaculation a talk, it would be a finished piece. However, looking at it as a piece of theatre, it feels like the dramaturgical process has barely begun, from it’s non-existent structure to it’s lack of resolve and conclusion.

Discussing sexuality can be a very sensitive issue for some, as is also said in the piece. However, Rossi does not approach this subject with the sensitivity that she proclaims the importance of in her delivery and disposition. She delivers with an intense urgency that makes the audience feel guilty instead of interested. As well as this, constantly asking audience members very personal questions and touching them sensually felt forceful of the performer to me, and I couldn’t help but think about all the people that I know who would be interested in learning about this subject and feeling more comfortable with their own sexuality, but would be made incredibly uncomfortable by these parts of the piece.

The original music, composed by Sarah Kivvi, helps create a more soothing tone for the piece, however feels thematically out of place for the majority of the show.

The thing that’s most upsetting about Ejaculation is that it is an incredibly interesting piece, filled with intriguing stories and facts about sexuality you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Unfortunately, it is the way it is presented that lets it down.

Summary
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Reviewed Item
Ejaculation - Discussions About Female Sexuality at Summerhall
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I believe any piece of theatre, regardless of form, style or genre should be able to teach or make the audience feel something new. That is the true meaning of theatre to me, and I plan to take every opportunity to learn and feel that I can.

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