Monday, April 22

Things We (Never) Learned in Sex Ed – The Space On North Bridge

You can probably guess what the show is about from the title, though a slight distinction must be made. As the show itself states, this isn’t about covering the biology or, as it were, the ins and outs of the thing, as these things are the closest thing most education systems get to covering well.

This show is more about the other stuff, like how puberty affects your (and other people’s) relationships with your body, consent, pleasure, and many other non-penetrative aspects of sex. Though of course those, and other sexual acts, are also dealt with. 

This is done through songs, sketches, stories told directly to the audience and discussions between the creators/performers, Lindsay Spear and Lea Sheldone. It’s a mix of the personal and the general, of the comedic and the educational, a show that aims to make you think. Just sometimes it does it with a ukulele, someone in a wig holding a vibrator, or through the mouth of a puppet vulva named Vul Kilmer.

By its very existence, it highlights the ways sex ed is inadequate almost universally (the show is American and has been performed in Canada before coming to Scotland). This is obviously a personal project for Spear and Sheldone, both in the subject and how it is tackled, which comes across in the more heart-bared moments delivered straight to the audience with nothing but a spotlight.

But it addresses the drawbacks in the way one would wish the actual matter to be: playful but always with the goal in sight. Most of the time the show is just a lot of fun, with the two performers’ friendship coming through in the easy interplay between them.

At time silly and often funny, the show sets out its manifesto in the title, with stories and situations which are often fun but always real. The “we” of the title might belong to the performers, but I imagine most audiences will find themselves in it somewhere along the way.

Things We (Never) Learned in Sex Ed plays until August 27th (not 21st) at The Space on North Bridge, and tickets can be found at  

Reviewer: Oliver Giggins

Reviewed: 17th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★