After hearing Rachel Mars read these old letters…I agree wholeheartedly with the title.

Your Sexts Are Shit: Older Better Letters is a one-woman play that gives dramatic readings of erotic love letters written by well-known people, including James Joyce, Georgia O’Keeeffe, Mozart, and Frida Kahlo. It is being performed at Soho Theatre by Rachel Mars, who also wrote it. Sound design is by Dinah Mullen, and lighting design is by Alex Fernandes. Dramaturgy is by Wendy Hubbard and nat tarrab. 

The stage has two projectors, onto which the context of the authors as well as modern sexts are displayed. There is a drawer that contains old-looking letters (a nice touch) and a desk set up with a laptop. There are a few lamps lighting the stage, giving it a homey atmosphere.

Mars has an undeniable charisma. The audience was unable to contain its laughter due to her earnest, straight-faced reading of the letters and impeccably emphasized punchlines. She shows her more tender side when she acts as if she were talking to her newfound lover, insisting they email each other to make their relationship more romantic.

While hilarious, I wish there were more to the show. The majority of the performance is her reading the racy letters. There is little creativity besides her digressions where she addresses her partner. She could have expanded on the context of the letters, explaining the stigma around sexuality, lust, or fetishes. She could have argued how technology has deromanticized sex. She could have discussed the way queer lovers especially had to keep their affairs a secret. There are so many possible routes to take, and this show has a lot of potential. The comparison of letters from the early 1900s to the short sexts sent now was, while hilarious, not formed enough.

If you want to hear some filthy letters and have a good laugh, head to Soho Theatre before Your Sexts Are Shit finishes on 18 June.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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