My First Time

Fortune Theatre, Dunedin

21/08/2009 - 12/09/2009

Production Details

Original Off-Broadway production directed and produced by Ken Davenport

For more information on MY FIRST TIME visit

MY FIRST TIME is a production

MY FIRST TIME IS Directed by Jeff Szusterman

First sexual experiences are one of the few things that almost every single person on this planet has in common, whether you’re Paris Hilton, Tim Shadbolt, Richie McCaw, George Clooney or John Key, yet we rarely talk about them. Until now . . .

In 1998, a decade before blogging began, a website was created that allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon as over 40,000 stories poured in from around the globe that were silly, sweet, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy and everything in between.

And now, these true stories and all of the unique characters in them are brought to life by four amazing actors in the acclaimed 90 minute play, MY FIRST TIME.

So come with your friends, because MY FIRST TIME will have you laughing and reminiscing about your own first time . . . and thinking about your next one.

MY FIRST TIME . . . I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.

Opens August 21 until September 12, 2009

Show times:
Tuesday 6pm
Wed-Sat 7.30pm
Sunday 4pm

"I remember my first time – I was alone at the time"

This production is sponsored by Dunedin City Motors

Danielle Mason
Jacque Drew
Roy Snow
Kristian Lavercombe

Artful harvest of sexual experience plumbs rite of passage

Review by Barbara Frame 23rd Aug 2009

This is the first time I’ve been to a play based on a website: one that invites people to contribute accounts of their first sexual experience. Playwright Ken Davenport has artfully harvested material and put it together as a play for four actors.

As we go into the theatre we’re asked to do a little contributing of our own by filling in a questionnaire (anonymously) about our own (if we’ve had any yet) first times: details like who, where, when and so on. As the performance proceeds, statistics and little gems from the survey are handed to the actors and relayed back to the audience.

The actors – Danielle Mason, Jacque Drew, Roy Snow and Kristian Lavercombe – sit on high stools and tell us about the real-life experiences of hundreds of people, sometimes building up impressions with the quick retailing of many details, and at other times slowing down to tell a single story at length. The demanding script requires quick shifts from one character to the next and a wide range of ages, personalities and nationalities although, as you might expect, a majority are clearly American.

Most of the stories are told with humanity and good humour, but the variety is endless: one moment a Welshman complains earnestly that "it isn’t easy being a 34-year-old virgin," shortly after that a fire-and-brimstone preacher invites our derision, and then a witless teenager is telling us a ghastly story involving drive-in movies and Coca Cola.  Audience responses range from admiration to sympathy and sometimes pity.

Just in case you’re wondering, everyone keeps their clothes on, but many of the descriptions are frank, to say the least.

Sitting somewhere on the spectrum between a salacious, trite, True Confessions kind of experience and a meaningful comment on what for most human beings is a rite of passage, My First Time is thoroughly entertaining.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 



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Addictive time-filler

Review by Terry MacTavish 23rd Aug 2009

How was your first time? (‘Losing one’s virginity’ has such a dated ring, don’t you think?) And how willing would you be to share the experience with the world? Clever money-spinner Ken Davenport, whose productions have grossed more than $100 million, has created My First Time from the sexy reminiscences of the merrily uninhibited contributors to the website of the same name.

The format is extremely simple – four actors sit on chairs facing the audience, and recount the stories of some of the thousands who have written in. The website has been running for a decade, so there were plenty of first-time tales for Davenport to choose from. And they are the real thing: the text of each letter is recited verbatim, though not necessarily in full. While some stories develop slowly, often the script skips speedily through sound bites on a particular topic, like venue (many many cars) which can have a hilariously cumulative effect.

In recognition of the need to keep the sense of public ownership, the audience are given a survey to fill in before the show, regarding of course their own first time. The results of this are quickly collated, and then projected onto the plain back wall of the stage, or read out by the actors, who manage to keep it feeling personal. "Did everyone else’s first time suck as badly as ours did?"

These four engaging actors are essentially narrators, but do their best to flesh out the characters they fleetingly portray. All display great skill with their swift changes of accent, mostly American (though my favourite was actually Welsh) and the longer stories do allow them to convey some empathy.  They are somewhat trapped in their chairs, but director Jeff Szusterman has seized any opportunities to permit them some action. Most memorable for me was the cast creating a rush hour subway carriage, jigging as they hung from straps, while one lucky guy found himself shoved into thrilling contact with someone who simply smiled…

Roy Snow, chilling as a brutal biker-bar owner who crosses the line between seduction and rape, later has a delightful cameo, stomping and ranting as an appalled bible-banging preacher who damns us all to hell. "I will never visit this site again!"

Kristian Lavercombe, meanwhile, makes the most of his endearingly naive persona, employing melting eyes to advantage, as he tells the tales of alarmingly innocent lads learning, usually with startled delight, just what it’s all about.

Charming Jacque Drew (‘First of all, I am not a slut’) clearly enjoys her many comic roles, and is great at being cheerfully lewd, yet handles with real sensitivity a potentially disturbing story of incest.

Danielle Mason is similarly touching, in her account of fulfilling sex with a lover who has cerebral palsy, "Take notice of any tigers in wheelchairs… he might be the ticket to a happy life". She is then equally convincing in a hideously depressing story of the more sordid side of sex, involving a coca cola douche, rather than true love.

The appeal of the show is very like the addictive reading of comments on any website, for instance, – you absolutely have to flick on to the next, in case it is the oyster that contains the pearl. As theatre goes, just like the website, My First Time is more of a time-filler than an enlightenment. Entertaining enough in a reality-TV way, but lacking the political bite of, say, The Vagina Monologues. 

This does not seem to bother the audience, who on opening night at the Fortune responded with delighted laughter, and departed in a bubbly mood that could well bear out the assertion projected onto the backdrop, that 100% of them would be inspired to have sex after the show. After all, as one bright person in our audience wrote on their survey form, aren’t you glad it gets better with experience?
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 



peter King August 24th, 2009

i enjoyed being full house laughing at ourselves and listening to some funny, honest and sometimes truely sad stories. My ovrall feeling was that it was fantastic to hear real people tell us the audience personal stuff and thats so much different from reading it on the website where it comes across more as soft porn than anything else. the play is well crafted  and directed .Overall , it reminds us all that our first time is just that, our first time , slick performance by four awesome cast  members  . should take the family if they are over 15

neil furby August 23rd, 2009

My First Time will be the last time I watch gentilia gendre theatre

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