Birds and Bees at Soho Theatre Online
Birds and Bees explores sex and the shortcomings of sex education in today’s world. The production has a lot of important points to make but doesn’t necessarily make them in the best way.
There’s a lot more to sex than the national curriculum covers. It’s not just “man and wife have sex to have babies” – it’s all the nuances beyond this that Birds and Bees tries to explore and educate its audience about. The new on-demand show by Soho Theatre takes place in detention, where four school pupils clash over the topic of sex. The conversation is spurred by the recent spread of private nude photos from a couple in the school.
It feels like a cross between The Breakfast Club and one of those cheesy drug awareness shows that think they’re young and hip and totally getting through to the kids, while in reality the children know they’re being talked down to and just end up resenting the whole thing.
The characters seem to behave how the creators want them to, and not how they would actually behave. They switch personalities at the drop of the hat just to achieve certain plot points or just to deliver a particular message. Otherwise the writing is great. When the dialogue works, it works well – and that is most of the time. It’s engrossing as the characters come at each other from their different viewpoints. This is helped by the wonderful performances from every single cast member. There is honestly not a single weak link in this ensemble: Ike Bennett, Narisha Lawson, Ida Regan and EM Williams are all flawless.
Birds and Bees touches on something utterly fundamental and has many great, educated points to share. But it does feel like a lecture at times – and not the good, super interesting kind of lecture but the patronising kind that treats speaks down to its audience. It’s a shame because it’s otherwise a good show, and if it wasn’t trying so hard to educate, it would probably do a better job of it.
Photo: Helen Murray
Birds and Bees is available to stream via Soho Theatre from 8th March until 28th March 2021. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch a trailer for the production here: