Show Review - Ros Ballinger
Salt n Pepa said it very clearly in 1990.
Let’s talk about sex.
And then we didn’t. Why would we? We’re British and quite frankly we’ve never really moved on from giggling at picture postcards when anyone mentions anything to do with a person’s squishy regions or what they choose to do with them. We hide away behind the comforting mask of a bedroom door and casually ignore that somewhere out there people are doing things in a variety of different ways, with a whole host of different people, and possibly in some quite interesting places to boot.
Step up Ros Ballinger, armed with a bouquet of condoms and a whole host of places she wishes to use them. Busting taboos is the name of the game here and Ros uses her own experience of (quote) ‘shagging around a bit’ to take us through an evening of personal reflection and a host of encounters of the unpredictable kind.
For a refreshing change nothing is off limits - whatever you are, whatever you like, it’s probably covered in this irreverent look at the process of how two (or three) (or often it appears more) people choose to put their bits together for fun & pleasure. The openness and honesty of Ros’ show is what wins through and she manoeuvres swiftly from kink to fetish to straight to bi, queer, not so queer and back again with relative ease. She knows her stuff and provided she doesn’t get attacked by any more seagulls (I’m sure she’ll explain) then she’ll continue to impart to us this wonderful knowledge.
That she is able to do so without alienating half the crowd (after all, we’ve all got our own charming idiosyncrasies in the rumpy pumpy department) is a bit of an achievement in itself.
Any exploration of how people identify sexually often leads into various qualifications - long winded explanations and caveats about this group, that group and which label we’d like to stick on what THEY do. With a few notable exceptions (mostly when peoples ‘thing’ happens to stray into activities that are most definitely illegal) Ros reminds the audience throughout that even though these may be her proclivities- other brands of kink are most definitely available. This could easily be (as she tells us) a segment on Blue Peter.
The show goes pretty much everywhere - toys, parties, romantic relationships and not. By talking about it in public she has in a sense (and again to coin a phrase from Ros) found a way of ‘monetising shagging’ (just not in the traditional way). By the size of the audience I was in, I would suggest that venture capitalism is working out pretty well for her.
The audience were throughly tickled (in a humorous sense - the show isn’t an interactive one - don’t go expecting that) and it was a perfect way to spend a Saturday night. It’s reaffirming to be sitting in audience and hearing that no matter what you like and who you happen to like it with - ‘the group’ will be happy with you laughing loudly about it.
If there were to be a criticism of the show it would be that our host is occasionally a little too apologetic over matters that need not be said sorry for - the odd trip or stumble when recounting personal matters is probably par for the course - even if that course has a few lumps or bumps along the way. We were with you Ros - no need to atone for ‘owt.
As we leave to return to our awkward real life selves there’s a little bit of a frisson in the air - a tiny bit of excitement that it’s alright to chat, just a little bit mind - about sex without the world coming crashing down on you for talking smut. We feel a bit empowered, a bit liberated - a bit more willing to listen to you telling me about a bit of what you fancy (if that’s ok and you feel comfortable with that) but you didn’t quite feel able to, in a sense, you know - articulate it properly before. Sorry.
Cheers Ros - you’re a pioneer.
‘Better than dying alone’ is at Sweet Grassmarket at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel until 24th August (except 14th) at 9:30pm