Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: 1972: The Future Of Sex, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Paul Whitelaw.
Fashions come and go but the sexual angst and confused identity issues of teenagers remain constant through the ages. That’s the unpretentiously wise and curiously comforting message of this likeable comedy-drama, in which various 1970s teens fumble awkwardly with their urges.
The performance space is transformed into a sweaty, dingy disco, dripping in hormones, adrenaline, testosterone and pheromones, as the nimble young cast enact a slide-show of archetypal scenarios: impressionable pupil falls for groovy tutor; mousy girl unlocks her inner self with beautiful siren; insular boy explores his burgeoning sexuality in the sanctity of his bedroom (this latter portion is suspiciously reminiscent of scenes from cult glam rock film Velvet Goldmine).
With the music and androgyny of David Bowie serving as a unifying glue, these strands unfurl against a distant backdrop of political protest and sexual revolution. The point, that the supposed freedoms offered by the permissive society had little lasting impact on ordinary people, both then and now, is made so abundantly clear, the play offers precious few surprises.
Nevertheless, it’s a charmingly staged and performed production that neither scores cheap points from its 1970s setting nor judges its protagonists in a harsh moral light.
ZOO (Venue 124) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest
• Download the WOW247 app for iOS and Android