AN outrageous new theatre show unveiling what Ulster people really think about sex will shock, amuse and delight audiences when it tours Northern Ireland and plays at the Riveside Theatre in Coleraine early next month.
Inspired by two years of confessions from people of all backgrounds, all across the country, The Ulster Kama Sutra is a naughty-but-nice adult puppet show that should raise many laughs as it tells it like it is.
The fabulous cabaret mash-up of sketches and songs inspired by the Kama Sutra has been created by Terra Nova Productions, a Belfast-based theatre company, that specialises in work that engages with other cultures.
Artistic Director Andrea Montgomery recorded nearly 100 anonymous interviews and ran community workshops using chapters of the sacred Hindu text as a starting point. Joined by Indian actor/director Ahbishek Thapar, the Terra Nova creative team - including Andrea’s husband, well known Coleraine musician Anthony Toner - and comedy actress and writer Nuala McKeever - who also stars in the show - worked intensively to craft this raw material into sketches and songs.
The result is a hilarious but touching show that cheekily holds a mirror up to our society’s repressed views on this sensitive subject
Local actors Nuala McKeever, Caroline Curran and Neil Keery are joined on stage by British Indian actor Shri Patel. This cast of four work alongside puppet versions of themselves, as well as some unforgettable hand-crocheted puppets of private parts with some eye-wateringly true tales to tell.
The new show will be greatly anticipated by those who were lucky enough to catch it in its earlier developmental stages.
Described as a ‘crash test cabaret’ the sell-out show was part of last year’s Cathedral Quarters Arts Festival and was riotously enjoyed by audiences.
One reviewer commented: ‘I have never heard an audience laugh with such wild abandon, or leap so quickly to their feet in a standing ovation.’ Audience members were invited to stay and have their say after the show, so they may even find a puppet portrayal of their most intimate revelations in this new and improved 2013 Ulster Kama Sutra. Many of the sketches and songs have never been seen before.
Speaking about the production Andrea Montgomery, a former manager of the Riverside Theatre, said: “We are so excited to tour this show which is based on the confessions and quirky comments we’ve had from real people in Northern Ireland; and there were so many very funny and unexpected similarities between Ulster and Indian culture. I
“it was great to get the feedback and additional material after the May 2012 show to develop this further before taking it on tour. This is the way Terra Nova works, listening to what the public say, and using that to shape our shows.”
Her singer songwriter husband, Anthony Toner, who created the music and songs for the production, said: “It was a riot working on the songs for The Ulster Kama Sutra and quite a departure from the music that most people will associate with me. I would definitely recommend the show.
Speaking about the process of developing the production, Nuala McKeever said: “The Ulster Kama Sutra has been a great opportunity for me to be part of a comedy ensemble, and I’m really enjoying that. It strikes me that this show is the antidote to Northern Ireland’s hang-ups about sex. Which is a good thing as we’ve heard some examples of how our hang-ups are hurting us. Let’s hope that laughter really is the best medicine.”
The production is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. It is recommended for over 18s.