Review: Sex Magick

Barons Court Theatre, London

Think Bridget Jones meets Smack The Pony and you’ve probably got a second cousin of this play. Sex Magick is an evening of satanic rituals, dodgy moustaches and the quest for true love as our hapless heroine, Amelia, does all she can to win the heart of her childhood crush.

It’s a simple premise from which modern dating is dissected and ridiculed. Amelia doesn’t bother with online dating sites and apps, and goes straight to Luna, a vagina therapist, who talks to spirits and advises masturbating with a cucumber. Luna’s literal lunacy takes the play to a number of other worlds and Anca Vaida’s outlandish comic style and deft physical humour provide a lot of laughs (but do lead to the untimely death of Eddy Redmayne). Natasha Zierhofer, who plays Amelia, also wrote the play and she manages to find the perfect balance of incredulity and normalcy, as the characters navigate the very mundane reality of passive aggressive flat shares, the fantasy of Amelia’s dreams and a typical meeting at Gregg’s where a pasty is used to read fortunes. It’s a great world to get caught up in and is staged perfectly in the dark basement of the Baron’s Court Theatre. Other characters include Jo, Amelia’s flatmate, played brilliantly by Jade Love as she looks on with bemusement at Amelia’s increasing bizarre life, and Julian, (Hugo Linton), the equally hapless yet lovely love interest. The four make for a great comic quartet and it would have been good to see them all on stage together more often as their chemistry was fab.

Primal Theatre does a great job at pulling this show off and, if anything, I left wanting more. The clowning was great but I wanted more of it, and I wanted it to go to even higher and more bonkers places. I wanted more from the physical comedy and from the story as well. Smack The Pony is brilliant because it’s a sketch show, while Bridget Jones works because it’s a feature length film with a clear narrative. I think Sex Magick does the former very well but needs more of the latter. Having said that, I laughed a lot and I even got to go up onstage and play a quiz show game in one of Amelia’s nightmares – yup, it’s just that sort of show!

© Robert Holtom 2019

Sex Magick runs at The Barons Court theatre until 29th June 2019. Book now. 

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