Like Sex

Resident blogger Jonty Crane chats to Like Sex writer, Nathan Joe

How did the show originate?

I pitched the idea to Young and Hungry which was picked up and developed over a series of workshops. Then it was produced as part of their 2016 Wellington season at BATS theatre. It probably wouldn't exist without them.

What shows / writers have you drawn inspiration from?

The biggest influence is German playwright Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde from 1987. The shape of Like Sex is taken almost directly from Schnitzler's with its daisy-chain structure, where scenes are connected by overlapping characters who have sex with each other. For example: Scene one features A+B, scene two features B+C, scene three features C+D, and so on.

Spring Awakening is the quintessential play about teenage sexuality and adolescent angst. I'm talking about the original by Franz Wedekind here (not the musical adaptation).

Mike Bartlett's Cock, which Silo happens to be staging later this year. It's a great play which deals with interpersonal relationships and demands simplicity in its staging. Incredibly character-driven and quick-witted like a screwball comedy. So, if you're going to Like Sex, you'll probably love Cock.

How much real life experience is captured in the show?

There are tons of little bits and pieces of myself in all the characters, and it's inspired by real talks I've had with real people in some way or another. But they're not based on any real people if that's what you mean.

While a bit more dramatic than some teenager's experiences, the show is rooted in how teenagers really feel about sex, and all the confusion that entails. But I like to think there's something everyone can relate to in Like Sex, no matter your age or experience.

Any favourite moments from developing / rehearsing the show?

Seeing the director Chye-Ling dig deep into the script with the cast has been exciting and interesting. They've really made it their own beast and it's safe to say it belongs to them as much as it does to me. For anyone who's seen the Wellington production, it's almost too different to compare.

Also, being our first show as Exposed Theatre, it's been really great seeing all the recent acting graduates in the cast connect from different institutions and create their own little sense of community. Aside from telling stories, that's what theatre is all about.

What has been the most difficult part of the production?

Both Jordan Keyzer and myself have been pretty busy with other work while trying to co-produce this show together. I think that's always the hard part about working in the arts and juggling day jobs with passion projects, where priorities clash and demand so much energy and time. You're either time poor or actual poor.


Like Sex is on at The Basement Theatre 23 May - 3 Jun.