Kelly Price stars in the world première of Terry Johnson’s The Sex Party, which will open at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Johnson directs Will Barton (Tim), Amanda Ryan (Magdalena), Lisa Dwan (Gilly), John Hopkins (Jake), Timothy Hutton (Jeff), Jason Merrells (Alex), Pooya Mohseni (Lucy), Molly Osborne (Hetty) and Kelly Price (Camilla).
The production opens at The Menier on 15 November, with previews from 4 November, and runs until 7 January 2023.
You’re starring in Terry Johnson’s The Sex Party what can you tell us about the play?
The Sex Party is essentially a comedy of manners set in a house in Islington where four couples and a mystery guest meet for an evening of pleasure. It’s thoroughly entertaining and cringingly relatable – even if you don’t frequent sex parties!
The kitchen gets steamy, saucy and a little bit spicy but not for all the reasons one might presume. As they get to know one another intimately, a more complex sharing of mind, body and soul means that these strangers reveal a little more than they bargained for.
What were your first thoughts when you read the script?
It felt to me like a classic comedy but utterly contemporary and vital. I loved that it was thought-provoking and surprising yet very familiar. The characters felt like vivid archetypes but without ever slipping into stereotypes.
I loved Terry’s style of jazzy comedy writing. It’s even more exciting now to hear the characters riffing out loud, brought to life by a brilliant company of actors that I feel very privileged to be at the party with. We’re all talking about sex and sexuality in some way or another and it’s about time it was represented on stage in new work, in such a bold way, representative of our time.
You’re playing Camilla, tell us a little about the character and what you love and hate about her?
Camilla is strong, feisty and forthright, fighting often for inclusivity and political correctness. She can be a little righteous in her plight to put everyone in their correct place, unafraid to drop a few truth bombs, but always has the best intentions. Like any interesting character there is contradiction and conflict in her so she’s great fun to play.
It’s quite a provocative title, do you think audiences might be shocked by the play?
I hope so! We enjoy drama for that very reason. I believe theatre is a sacred space for us to come together to explore and answer delicate questions about life… and hopefully leave still talking about it. Each character has their vulnerable moments, and perhaps the audience will also. Or maybe they’ll just come and have a good giggle. Either way, we’re hoping it’s going to be a ride!
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see The Sex Party?
Be curious! Terry Johnson is a brilliant writer/director so you’re already getting some of the best quality British theatre can offer with this world premiere! Add to that a stellar cast, fantastic creative team and our much-loved Menier Chocolate factory. Don’t be shocked by the title, be titillated, and get ready for a revealing and hugely entertaining evening.