Adelaide Festival Review: Sex and Death_and the Internet

Who: Samara Hersch

Where: University of Adelaide

When: until 20 March

Tickets: here

There are lots of games doing the rounds that give players an opportunity to have a deep conversation. Between Flex Mami’s series of REFLEX games and We’re Not Really Strangers, the market is full of prompts to help us connect better with each other. However, we usually do this with groups of friends, and it’s not often we take the time to ask these big, deep questions of someone older than us. Enter Samara Hersch, who has created an excuse for these conversations to take place.

Sex and Death_and the Internet pairs participants with an older stranger. Using virtual prompt cards, as a pair you take turns to ask each other questions. Together, you delve immediately into the big topics, about your relationship with sex, with your body, with your relationships, and with death.

I’m paired with a stranger. We ask questions back and forth, hitting the ground running in the only way we can. The whole experience is simple enough in its production, basically a video call window with the virtual prompt cards on one side, but it doesn’t need to be overbaked. This simple production is plenty. The time flies by, and suddenly we are saying goodbye.

I’ve been really interested in these participatory, one-on-one experiences over the last few years. Sex and Death reminds me of Two Strangers Meet in a Bar, Tilda Cobham-Hervey’s 2021 Adelaide Fringe show, and Rider Spoke, Blast Theory’s geolocated bicycle experience that I participated in just a few weeks back.

Sex and Death is different though. There is something special about taking the time to talk to someone I would not normally talk to. And when you do, baring your soul to a perfect stranger, for no real reason other than you’re being asked a question. This participatory performance is one of a kind. I am sure I’ll keep thinking of my stranger for some time.

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