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Performance Review: Sizzling on the hot hob with the bunny boiler
As you can imagine from the title of this play at the House of International Theatre on the top floor of Huset, ‘Sex and Betrayal – Between the Sheets’, the action is sizzling hot from the onset.
Merging the ingredients of comedy, drama and music, Manusarts presents a story of love, sex and betrayal in a most unique manner, as we are taken through an odyssey of sex tips and tricks and a virtual tale of betrayal.
Meet the bunny boiler
Jana Pulkrabek, the female lead, inhabits a wide variety of personas and party frocks, elegantly shifting between the two characters of a wanton sex therapist and a married woman accidentally engaging in a virtual love affair.
Pulkrabek is at her best as the archetypal bunny boiler, and she is particularly at ease with the physicality. A previous time we had the pleasure of watching her perform – in a not too dissimilar role in last year’s ‘Lovers, Authors & Other Strangers’ – she managed to thump her head during a scene that was not meant to be sadomasochistic. But despite suffering concussion, she gamely carried on, and it this kind of determination that has helped her Hamburg-based theatre group Manusarts make such a mark in Copenhagen.
The helmsman, the Hamburger and Mr Hale
Pulkrabek has a strong ally in the shape of Jeremy Thomas-Poulsen, a co-founder of HIT’s resident group Down the Rabbit Hole and her director in this play. Once again, he demonstrates his prowess both as a helmsman and weaver of content, presenting an intriguing sequence of scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat and no doubt stir your libido somewhat.
Accompanying Pulkrabek in the hilarity is Hamburg-based musical performer Siegmar Tonk, who expertly supports her both on the piano and in maintaining a perfect balance between the language and expressions.
But it’s not all a bundle of laughs. When the husband (American actor Tom Hale) suddenly appears on the scene, the mood of the show changes, effectively conveying the consequences and pain associated with betrayal.
Let’s talk about, and sing about, sex
The play is engaging throughout and feels relatively short despite its ample 90-minute running time, with songs like ‘Everybody’s Fucking But Me’ complementing the cabaret-style surroundings.
And as well as gaining some deep insight into the state of modern relationships, some audience members may benefit from the sex tips and tricks presented – although they might not admit it …