Lizzie Roper – Peccadillo Circus

Norwich Playhouse

Norwich Playhouse

I don't usually spend Saturday nights listening to the detailed sexual histories of complete strangers, but for Lizzie Roper I'll make an exception. For her current, award-winning show is not merely another tired, comic's-eye view of sex and relationships. Instead, this frighteningly versatile actress presents an inspired form of human ventriloquism, albeit of a nature that would make Orville blush.

Having conducted interviews with people about their various proclivities and experiences, Roper has the edited highlights piped into her ears via headphones from an iPod attached to her arm. She then transmits these transcripts precisely from the stage - every pause, mannerism and vocal tic is included so as to accurately inhabit real people, ranging from a doddery old psychoanalyst haunted by clients' confessions to a seen-it-all dominatrix.

While the show is unabashedly explicit, the biggest laughs result from the contrast between the content and the banal, laughably British way most of the personalities express themselves.

A simple, though imaginative concept wonderfully executed, Peccadillo Circus achieves the rare feat of being at

once funny, poignant, exhilarating and unsettling.

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