Wotever Sex @ Royal Vauxhall Taverns, London.
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More from Bob Henderson
As Liza Minelli so famously jazz-handsed-n-sang, “Life is a Cabaret”. The opposite can be said of Josephine Wilson’s ‘Sex Education’ last nights opening show for Wotever Sex, a series of six shows for the next successive Thursdays at The Royal Vauxhall Taverns. Her cabaret was her life.
Through a series of characters such as ‘Doty P’ and ‘Bwaaaaargh’ (and making a splash with stern assistant Jet Moon who has her own show next week), Josephine lead us through a sex education lesson, with enlightening powerpoint presentations and comedy demonstrations for politically correct sexual positions. We were left feeling that the only politically correct sexual position is one of solitary masturbation. However, the most captivating and poignant moments were when Josephine was onstage and simply telling us anecdotes about her life, slipping in and out of her costumes and talking about her own personal (lack of) sex education. Left disillusioned by Home Counties schooling, and even more confused by academic queer theorising, Josephine’s quest to get laid ended triumphantly with her arrival at Bar Wotever and a teenage angst drumming session. It was so spontaneous and heartfelt, words will only cheapen its impact – you really had to be there.
I was recently discussing with friends about film documentaries based on trannies, the term Josephine and her personas lovingly embrace, and how film makers love to focus on the preparation, shaving, put on some slap, sticking on some facial hair, or the revelatory moment when the wig comes off and da-dah! the ‘real’ them appears. What Sex Education did so beautifully, without the preachy militant tendencies of queer theory, was completely undercut this fascination with duality, the before and after – it was just her. Simple. The show has still left me glowing. I defy anyone not to identify with the feeling of not fitting in to an assigned identity (the queens vs bears bit was sublimely absurd) or not to feel empowered by Josephine’s stories and humour.
There are five shows left in the Wotever Sex series, and if they’re half as good as last night, you’d be a fool to miss them.