In a routine sexual health test, Bryony is told she has picked up a pretty common STD. The clinic offers Bryony the option to contact her previous sexual partners anonymously to encourage them to get a tested. But instead Bryony takes the matter in her own hands by contacting them all herself. The result is Sex Idiot.
In a very funny and surprisingly tender 60 minutes, Bryony takes us on a tour of her sex life – its highs, lows and wrong turns – as she tries to track down who she contracted the STD from. The result is not only a great hour of entertainment but a frank, fearless and completely unapologetic look at female sexuality in the 21st century.
Sex Idiot is a superb blend of comedy and confession. To take your own personal life and make it art requires plenty of honesty and a hell of a lot of humility and Bryony has this in spades. She doesn’t seem to censor a single part of her past from the show and lays bare incidents and decisions that make you wince, decisions the rest of us would probably be far too embarrassed to bring up in public.
But Bryony is also very charismatic with a great sense of humour and she knows how to put on a show. She weaves her story with very funny self-written musical compositions (most of which are unlikely to trouble the charts any time soon) interpretive dance and plenty of self-deprecating moments.
Bryony is very relaxed on stage and that puts the rest of us at ease. That sense of familiarity mixed with Bryony’s conversational approach only adds to the intimacy.
So yes, there are plenty of laughs and cringe-inducing moments in Sex Idiot but its power really lies in its bittersweet moments, those poignant reminisces that pluck the heart strings. Because for all the fun to be had, like the rest of us Bryony has also loved and lost. And that’s always the worst.
Bryony Kimmings is an increasingly popular performance artist and her fanbase is growing all the time. But she’s not always in London so catch Sex Idiot at the Southbank this week if you’ve never seen her before or if you’re already an established fan as who knows when we’ll next see her!
Southbank Centre, London to August 16, 2014
Image credits: Bryony Kimmings by Christa Holka