The Mystery of Love and Sex had its Australian debut when it premiered at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company earlier this month. Written by Boardwalk Empire‘s Bathsheba Doran, the play focuses on relationships and romance. And while this might not sound like anything groundbreaking when it comes to theatre plots, its humorous portrayal of both heterosexual and gay couples is certainly saying something new.
Focused on couple Charlotte and Johnny, audiences witness the changes in their relationship after Johnny begins sleeping with men, and Charlotte develops feelings for Claire. And while Charlotte’s parents try not to judge their daughter’s relationship choices, they simply can’t help themselves. Director Anthony Skuse stresses the play’s importance in today’s national conversation, with marriage equality an obvious hot topic.
“It’s saying something new from a female experience,” he says of the romantic comedy. “For the LGBT community, it’s an affirmation and form of empowerment. But not only for the LGBT community, but for the broader community too.”
After Doran’s clever script had such success overseas, Skuse believes Australian audiences will fall in love with it, too: “It’s themes are universal. It’s warm and has a lot of human heart.”
And with its season coinciding with Sydney’s Mardi Gras, Skuse hopes The Mystery of Love and Sex will have an impact on audiences: “It’s a play that stretches the empathy muscle.” (CW)
Until Mar 12; Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm. Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst. $38-$54. Tickets & info: www.darlinghursttheatre.com
BY CHANTAL WALSH