Thistle & Rose take us through something of what it is to be a young woman in this day and age in Post Sex Spagbol at VAULT Festival
“Who knew lying to teenage girls could be so amusing?”
As the title might suggest, Post Sex Spagbol isn’t really your average Mills & Boon approach to sex (I say that not ever having read one, do they even still exist in this age of self-publishing…) Rather, this is a spunky, all-too-telling account of what it is to be a woman in this modern age, a world where misogyny can be so deeply ingrained that it pervades the mindset of everyone, regardless of how you identify
Thistle & Rose set out to “uncover the dirty truths of womanhood” and in Katie Bignell’s inventive hour-long play, there’s something bracingly refreshing about about its forthrightness. Less dirty and more tingling, as if that mint shower gel has reached special places, the frankness on display lends a certain depth to the thrust of what might otherwise be a straightforwardly comic drama, albeit one soundtracked with orgasms to the William Tell overture and condoms that go pop.
Bignell, Georgia Wilson and Signe Ebbesen share the role of Krissy, a reserved girl-turned-nepo-baby whose parental connections land her a job as a counsellor and sex-ed teacher at a girls boarding school. Given she can’t get through a game of Shag, Marry, Kill without traumatising herself, it’s a position she’s ill-equipped for, but as she leads her classroom down a wince-inducing path of deliberate misinformation, something of a reckoning with her own mindset bubbles up.
Working with this lead-sharing, multi-roling three-woman ensemble, director Caitlin Lee Smith evokes the universality of Krissy’s experience, the growing pains of growing up, as well as honing in on the young female experience. With its suite of pink captions taking us through the scenes, it’s an entertaining hour and now I have a real hankering for some sweet and sour chicken balls.