Festival review: A Guide to Second Date Sex; Underbelly Cowgate (venue 61)

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IT HAS sex in the title, it’s on at nearly midnight and it’s going to get an audience. This broad comedy by Rachel Hirons feels like an audition piece for a TV sitcom.

Based upon real-life interviews with people who evidently need to get out more, it revolves around an evening of awkward conversation and the kind of bad sex that probably only happens in Britain.

Ryan and Laura are on a second date in the not particularly salubrious location of Ryan’s bedroom. Between drinking wine from mugs and pretending to watch Dangerous Liaisons, they clumsily try and get together. Meanwhile, their inner thoughts are played over the sound system and amusingly contrasted with what they say aloud. Needless to say, the two rarely match.

Hirons’s writing aims to shock, portraying the graphic details of the encounter with child-like glee, but has no obvious point to make beyond celebrating the rude and crude.

Performers Amy Butterworth and Thomas O’Connell manage to create some warmth in characters that often feel like they have very little chemistry. What Laura sees in Ryan is unclear, making it difficult to care about their relationship as a result.

Rating: * * *

Until 26 August. Today 10:45pm.