THEATRE REVIEW: 1972 The Future of Sex ★★★★★

1972: The Future of Sex
Bristol Old Vic
Tuesday 30th April - Saturday 4th May 2019

Following the phenomenal success of ‘Education, Education, Education’, to which you can read our ★★★★★ review here, and is set to transfer to the Trafalgar Studios in London later this year, Wardrobe Ensemble return to Bristol Old Vic to bring back one of their original pieces, 1972: The Future of Sex. Inviting us into the everyday lives of those alive during the time of the 70s, as well as in certain timelines flash-forwarding to the present day, the production delves into the complexity and myths surrounding sex, fantasies, love, and heartbreak. It’s safe to say following '1972…' Wardrobe Ensemble continue to strive for perfection, something which this current production hits with sheer certainty.

This production, co-directed by Jesse Jones and Tom Brennan, and devised by the members of the company, completely excels in showing the curiosity and awkwardness that surrounds sex, as well as the extreme fantasies and passions to which I believe so many of us could possibly relate to, as well as cementing that back then, and even now, the stories of those on stage don’t always end with a happy ever after. The use of the flash-forwarding scenes, one in which involves Tessa and Anna, a couple who we originally meet at a vinyl store, is so pure and realistic that it’s a testament to the companies work on stage that we feel so passionately for these characters as they re-meet at a Britney Spears concert, even when they aren’t our main focus the whole time.

With an added element of live music from the incredibly talented Tom Crosley-Thorne, the story hurtles full pace in such a way that there’s almost never time for a breather, an ironic statement when you look at the swimming segment at the latter end of the production, which involves an amalgamation of all the characters who are envisioned on stage. Rachael Duthie’s stunning lighting design adds an extra complexity and works beautifully to enhance the story, especially in the party scene involving Anna (Jesse Meadows) and Tessa (Emily Greenslade), bringing pulsing Edison bulbs in life in the sense of a relaxed heartbeat, something all of us in the audience can absolutely synchronise with as we follow passionately along with these two women on stage.

Overall, ‘1972:The Future of Sex’ further proves the incredible talents of the extraordinary individuals of the Wardrobe Ensemble, not only from those on stage, but further and most importantly to those from the creative team, who have devised and brought on stage a beautiful piece of theatre, to which whether or not you were around back in the 70s, you can find a character which you can instantly relate to from this incredible piece of devising theatre.

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