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Festival Review: Ad Libido ****

Michael Cox reviews a production that's very funny but also has a lot of emotional truth.

Fran Bushe’s Ad Libido is not a comedy show. I say this as high praise, not as a warning.

Bushe’s sex life has been disappointing. She’s had sexual partners but has not been able to achieve any satisfaction: not just orgasm but esteem within herself. However, she’s decided that enough is enough—things don’t go to plan.

The production is very funny. Bushe’s candid discussions on her life and body sound like they’re coming from a close friend who’s willing to level, and her songs teeter between the outrageous and the confessional.

But underneath is a current of sadness. Female sexuality pleasure isn’t held as important as function—and medical science certainly seems far more focused on men’s sexual health. One of Bushe’s first quotes, that she’s been ‘sexually acting since she’s been sexually active’ has a powerful punch of truth that carries as much weight as any of her very funny jokes.

Ad Libido is at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 27th.

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