From Sex to Soccer - Exercise, Sport and Me and Everything else in between

Fortune Theatre, Dunedin

08/03/2018 - 10/03/2018

Dunedin Fringe 2018

Production Details

In a country where the leading headline is ‘Did the Prime Minister jinx the All Blacks?’ Rochelle Savage’s comic one-person play examines the last socially acceptable obsession – sports and exercise. Rochelle has written and performed for theatre (Laura Get Your Gun, Perfect, FACE), television (Skitz, TellyLaughs), radio (Deep Vein Thrombosis: A romantic comedy) and film (Best character: 48hrs).

Runtime 1 hr

Ticket price range $15, concession $10

Booking details

Theatre , Comedy ,

1 hour

A cheerfully satirical hour

Review by Terry MacTavish 09th Mar 2018

If anything, the ambitious title understates what Rochelle Savage covers in a snappy show that sweeps through decades of fitness crazes and the Kiwi fixation with sport, as well as Savage’s own dalliances with a whole alphabet of exercise experiences. 

It is literally alphabetical. Simply costumed in black leotard and tights, adding a few props or costume bits from a battered suitcase, Savage starts with A and cleverly manages to find a sport or exercise beginning with each letter, right through to Z for Zumba, which gets a cool sparkly skirt.

Each subject is illustrated with a gently amusing anecdote from her own life, starting with the three-year-old desperate to do ballet for the tutu and toe shoes, and finally achieving her goal, only to discover the agony of actually dancing on pointe. 

Savage is an engaging, energetic performer, re-enacting each of the sports as she describes them, grabbing audience members to help only with the fondly remembered game of ‘Elastics’. Consequently she puffs a little at times, though maintaining admirable clarity in her vocal delivery throughout. It is extraordinary how many milestones can be marked by sports and exercise crazes: the instant collective recognition of Savage’s rites of passage means she could well afford to relax a little.

Naturally, culpably venal as we are, after D has taken us past disco dancing and the first kiss, the audience is hanging out for Savage to reach S = SEX.  Generously she delivers, frankly but not sleazily, and as she shares her own experiences we are given some useful – I may even say mouth-watering – advice.

The show is satirically political as well as personal, however, and Savage manages to get in many a dig at our values, from the absurd amount of money we will spend on the latest yoga mat, to the intrinsic injustice of our society’s conviction that male sports are more interesting and worthy of considerably more pay, than those of women. 

Shocking statistics are slipped into the patter: 2.9 million for women’s rugby football compared to 59 million for men’s, even though our women’s team has won the World Cup more often, or how much less money Linda Koe made as golf’s Number One than a lesser player’s caddy. The examples are inserted without rancour: the performer is direct without being confrontational, never losing her sense of humour.

The warmth of Rochelle Savage’s personality embraces us, and From Sex to Soccer feels just like spending a cheerful hour with one of your more entertaining friends. It is hard to resist the urge to exclaim aloud, “Hey, yes! I tried that too – it was truly awful wasn’t it – what were we thinking?!”


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