Under the Covers will be performed as part of Sick! festival at Contact, 4 -7 March 2015, 7:30pm. For more info, click here.
It’s always interesting when a new group of people come together in a new performing company and as an ex-CYC member myself, I can remember only too well the bustling energy that comes from a group of young people walking into Space 3 for the first time, full of nerves and apprehensions only. But throw into the mix the subject matter of CYC’s next show, Under the Covers, and you’ve raised the stakes even higher.
Under the Covers is being produced in partnership with The Wellcome Collection and their current exhibition, The Institute of Sexology, down in old London town and is billed as part of Sick! festival. CYC have been challenged to create a piece of performance in response to the exhibition, which documents the social, cultural and political history sex and sexuality .
Sex and sexuality are two of my favourite things (both to do – can you do sexuality? – and to talk about). And it would appear from our first few workshop sessions, that CYC are just as keen to talk about sex as I am! As well as starting to accumulate a ‘toolbox’ of performance skills from Lead Workshop Artist, Nathan Crossan-Smith, the group have been waxing lyrical and sharing (sometimes over-sharing!) their experiences both positive and negative (and often hilarious) of sex, relationships and sexuality.
As a person who works with young people in a variety of settings, I am often depressed by the messages they (and the rest of us) receive about sex. Sex is often shown as dangerous (Sex Ed at many schools is often no better than Coach Carr’s class in Mean Girls: ‘Don’t have sex. You will get chlamydia and die’), the media are constantly reminding us that every male that walks the earth is either a paedophile or a sexual predator and that those who dress provocitavely are ‘just asking for it.’ Quite frankly I’m bored of this. Who is celebrating the joyous side of sex? Who is offering the information we all need to stay safe in our relationships – whatever we choose them to be? Who is telling our young people that sex is an incredible part of human experience and that whilst a small minority may seek to warp our attitudes to one of our most base instincts, sex – in all it’s manifestations – is completely wonderful! I hope that CYC and Under the Covers will grab this challenge by the balls (pun totally intended) and show the world it’s OK to be a little bit sexy.
That said, the group have been very forthcoming about some of their apprehensions on the subject matter. And with an age range of 15 to 25 in the company, the challenge now is to explore and play in a manner that feels challenging but also inclusive and supportive.
Having worked with the young people in CYC for little over 2 weeks, I’m overwhelmed at their honesty, integrity and insightfulness on this subject and I cannot wait to see the work that they produce as a group under the direction of Stacy Makishi (who in a recent Skype call described us as ‘Team Sexy’ – a name which I fear will probably stick!)
I’ll be back with another update in a week or so… in the meantime, stay safe, play safe and watch this space for more updates on team sexy.