CW: Show contains discussions of rape, sexual harassment, PTSD, and transmisogyny.
Spill does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a show all about sex. Yet with its script, based on a multitude of interviews, “sex” seems too narrow a title for its theme, as the characters touch on so many more subjects: gender, sexuality, love, virginity, disability (to name just a few) – even the very definition of sex is called into question. Spill manages to touch on all this while impressively balancing an overwhelming sex positivity with an underlying feminist critique and accommodating for sex-repulsed asexuality.
It’s a comedy, sure, in that many of the stories about these themes are funny, and it’s disarmingly charming to see them played out and discussed on stage in a way that seems so natural. The stage is set up like a party, with popcorn, streamers, and string lights and along with the verbatim script, it really works wonders – the atmosphere felt exactly like listening in on any number of conversations we would have had with friends. Even the casting added to this feeling – it was diverse and pleasantly surprising, with many of the characters breaking their casting type perfectly.
However, the warm, jovial mood was often – and quickly – evaporated as darker stories would come to the forefront before fading away again. On one particularly jarring occasion, two women simultaneously told their separate, very different stories of rape, both finishing by shrugging it off and returning to the party. I felt quite exhausted by the end of the hour, constantly swinging between scenes recalling the first time women experienced street harassment, to hilariously unreal songs about “wanking”. It’s a fun show, but definitively not light hearted.
Laden with symbolism and impressively catering to a vast array of identities with a smiling ease – Spill is definitely one to watch.