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How to Flirt: The TED XXX-mas Edition | Soho Theatre

How to Flirt: THE TED XXX-mas Edition is a hilarious one woman show, performed by writer Daisy Doris May as her as her Drag King persona Steve Porter, and is a wonder to behold. Steve Porter is a surprisingly developed and layered character, who the audience can't help but root for despite his occasionally problematic statements, questionable past and flaws. A proclaimed "self taught feminist", he manages to flit between cringey and charming, often both at once. Despite being a satirical toxic make figure, Steve Porter is an effortlessly charming individual and the perfect person for this presentation.


Although advertised as a Ted Talk, the show takes on more of a seminar structure, with the audience being referred to as "freshers", each technique being it's own "module" and finally being the "graduating class" at the end. Despite having the opportunity to be rather risqué, the show chooses to instead be teasingly cheeky and surprisingly wholesome in its approach and jokes. May has a clear original voice that comes through clearly in the writing and it's her witty lines, ability to improvise and her becoming Steve Porter that creates such a brilliant show. 


The advice in Porter's flirting technique is surprisingly both productive and thoughtful. Whilst performed through an improvised audience interaction to hilarious results, the show dedicates a commendable amount to emphasise the importance of consent and accepting rejection. The show also encourages and promotes a daily dosage of self-love through guided mediation and sexy imagined scenarios. The show manages to constantly catch the audience off guard, often dropping in genuine compliments at random audience members, whilst simultaneously dabbling with sexual innuendos.  



There is a high level of audience participation in the show. From vocalising a mannequin, to reacting to a very flirty Steve Porter, to being blindfolded on a date and finally joining in a dance number as co-members of a boy band, the audience revels in being a part of this fantastically funny world that May has created.  Admittedly, as one of the audience participants, I did provide a number of challenging situations for Steve Porter to navigate out of, which was done flawlessly and was truly incredible to watch. 


The sound design by Ben Hood, is a fun playlist of club classics such as Britney Spears "Toxic" and Backstreet Boys "Everybody", which highlights the funnier parts of the show. These songs often play whilst Steve Porter dances, it's a passionate and great performance, ending in particularly painful splits. The atmosphere and energy levels, influenced by Steve Porter's antics, and coupled with a Saturday night audience, was electrifying. The show closed with Steve Porter giving the audience a raging boy band dance performance, that had most of the audience on their feet, cheering and dancing along. 


The show has a constant stream of witty and flirty jokes, Christmas references, interesting facts and energy throughout. Steve Porter is an icon and rightfully has merchandise, that audiences can actually purchase post show. How To Flirt - The XXX-mas Edition is the perfect late night show and Daisy Doris May will definitely show you a good time.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Alex Lambert

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