When it comes to love and relationships, things can get a bit messy. And, when it came to writing a new show for the Fringe with six different playwrights, it can be the same. Sextet: Six Short Plays About Love, Sex and Relationships is a collaborative work that’s hit the PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival this week.
The story started as a collaboration at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Circle between Donald B. Campbell, Betty Ternier Daniels, Todd Devonshire, Wendy Lockman, Rod Macpherson and Janice Salkeld.
“We get together and bounce ideas off one another at these meetings,” says Donald Campbell. “We give feedback on each other’s work and certain themes began to pop up and echo through our works.”
The group decided there was a power in numbers and began collaborating on Sextet together. It took many months and hundreds of emails back to weave the six separate stories into a 70 minute performance.
“We start with my story of a couple trying to save their relationship by going on a trip,” explains Campbell. “It sounds complex but this is really a journey through the heart, the good things and bad things that can happen to us all. It sounds serious but this piece is really funny.”
Sextet is billed as “titillating tales following the ways and wanderings of human heart.” Along with Campbell’s story, there’s one of Mel, a woman hoping a fortune-teller’s influence will help her woo her co-worker. There’s Vanessa who hopes a dating app will be the key to her happiness. Audiences will also meet Nick who’s about to see his sister married and has issues with his family, Catty a feline who could possibly help save a marriage and then a trip into psyche of Molly’s vagina as she’s about to get intimate.
“I love the idea of a show you’ve never seen before,” says Campbell who’s hoping audiences are looking for the same. “This show is racier. I like to say there are some naughty bits but you’re not going to see any naughty bits. This is not a filthy show.”
Sextet is tied together by its staging and music. Under director Gordon Portman, Campbell says it’s a real romp through the human condition.
“It’s surprising how much physical comedy was already in the plays we’ve written.” Campbell says, “It’s for anyone who’s experienced love, sex and relationships; all of us really. If you want to laugh and relate, this one’s for you!”