Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

18/02/2008 - 23/02/2008

NZ Fringe Festival 2008

Production Details

Stepping Stone Productions. Oh yes!

You’re not alone… Stepping Stone’s new innovative production explores Wellington’s own DEEP, dark and DIRTY secrets. Your very own stories devised into one BIG explorative, indulgent SEXACTRICAL, theatrical extravaganza hand picked for your personal PLEASURE.   

1 hour

Finally challenging

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 24th Feb 2008

Sex, as no doubt most people will agree with, is exciting and exhilarating, unlike Curious, a play about sex currently playing early evening at the Gryphon Theatre.

It would seem from the programme notes that the cast got more out of putting the show together than the actual show itself gives the audience, as little of what is alluded to in the notes makes its way to the stage.

The four actors – Stevie Wildewood, Sophie Stone, Kent Seaman, and Tamsin Dashfield – all contribute to the writing of the eleven sketches that make up Curious, each connected by some aspect of sex and all seemingly centred around fags, dykes and prostitutes. 

While the earnestness and energy of the cast is commendable, much of this goes for naught till the end where the last two scenes, one about love and the other about the definition of sexuality, come across as having depth and meaning engagingly presented in a way that challenges the audience. 


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Provocative, gutsy, brave

Review by Jackson Coe 22nd Feb 2008

Personal secrets and tasty sex lives are all revealed in Curious?, a titillating new Fringe Festival show devised and presented by Stepping Stone Productions.  Curious? tackles the immense topic of human sexuality head-on, offering a bold discussion of some of our most private and intimate secrets.

Rather than trying to limit their focus to a specific area of sexuality, Stepping Stone have decided to broach an extensive field of issues.  From puberty to virginity to same-sex desire, Curious? is something of a buffet of sexual complexity.  To aid in this broad exploration, the show is presented as a series of ‘chapters’ which alternate writers, performers and themes.  Memorable scenes include a girl on trial for not losing her virginity soon enough, a sexy stripper comparing herself to a Barbie doll and an alien on stilts analysing same-sex relations.

All of the performers should be commended for their willingness to lay their own sex lives bare, as it is suggested that a lot of the source material for this show has been gathered from personal experience.  The show’s girls (Sophie Stone, Tamsin Dashfield and Stevie Wildewood) demonstrate a confident flexibility in their performances, while Kent Seaman delivers an impassioned monologue near the conclusion of the piece which displays a diverse range of vocal ability and exhibits his talent as a strong character actor.

The soundscape is magnificent, with Hollie Fullbrook’s cello supplying a murky atmosphere which works in tandem with the shows lighting scheme, at least for the first half of the show.  Fullbrook’s lithe plucking is aided by guitar and vocals from Matt Bell, who also helps out the performers when males are looking scarce.

While the show should be commended for its frankness, there are a few structural problems with the script which impede further development.  It seems a conscious choice has been made to avoid an over-arching narrative, and yet a through-line involving alien beings is touched upon.  I felt that including this as more of a story, perhaps with a beginning, middle and end, would have held the show together more tightly, without loss to the episodic nature of the script.

A very provocative work, Curious? is appreciated for its guts and bravery. 
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