“Texting doesn’t allow you to do a dick emoji, even though that is what you just need to say,” he says.
Playwright David Finnigan says the play was inspired by the “post-50 Shades of Gray era” and the “big boom of people seeking alternative sexuality resources and a whole lot of grifters have moved in to sell everything you can think of with no qualification needed”.
‘The sonic possibilities of fruit have become something of a minor obsession for Massey.’
Rebecca Massey plays two roles, the sex coach author and a Devil Wears Prada-style editor. Both she and Harbridge were familiar with Finnigan’s provocative theatrical blueprints for artistic collaboration, having previously appeared together in Finnigan’s controversially titled Kill Climate Deniers at Griffin Theatre in 2018.
When Finnigan asked Massey and Harbridge to read this new comic “love story”, which also touches on the ecological crisis and capitalism’s shortcomings, it was Harbridge who suggested using fruit to create the sounds of sex.
That idea led the creative team to turn the new script into a radio play. Then once it became clear theatres in Sydney would reopen, the radio play was relocated to the stage, offering an audience the voyeuristic joy of watching actors and sound designer Steve Toulmin try to keep up with the marathon of sex sounds required for the 75-minute run time.
And now the sonic possibilities of fruit have become something of a minor obsession for Massey, even off stage.
“I find myself walking around supermarkets now banging things and stroking them to see what sort of noise they make,” she says.
44 Sex Acts in One Week is at Belvoir Street Theatre from December 16 to 20.