Review: Under the Covers from Manchester’s Contact Young Company
November 9, 2015
Generally, I am a hard to please theatregoer and so was especially dubious entering the Contact theatre to watch Under the Covers – a production from the Contact Young Company. When I hear a play is made up of a ‘young ensemble’ I’m always filled with a mild sense of dread, imagining cringeworthy GCSE drama piece acting, where serious social issues are always tackled, nearly always unsuccessfully. I was concerned that the play may end up being an awkward, ‘young actors’ performance, attempting to tackle the complexities of sex – how wrong I was.
Under the Covers was a delicate and moving portrayal of everything Sex. The sexual experiences of young people were dramatised in an incredibly honest way and a lot of those experiences really hit home for me and the friends I went with. It was so refreshing to have a group of young people actually tackle sexual issues that are not a normal part of your average young person’s conversation.
What is shocking is how often my heterosexual female friends discuss feeling as though their orgasm is secondary to a man’s, for example, or how I’ve had male friends open up to me about being called ‘gay’ at school because they had chosen not to have sex yet. I long for more women to open up about masturbation and having orgasms and/ or their difficulty in having orgasms.
Under the Covers dealt with ‘the female orgasm’ humorously and in a way that every young woman can relate to and this particular sketch from the play inspired an hour-long discussion in the pub after the performance finished. All of the nuances that make up sex were shown in Under the Covers and it was so refreshing to see a play that did not portray sex in the usual heteronormative, pornified, and frankly misogynistic version that is so common today.