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Yoga & Sex | The Hen and Chickens Theatre

Yoga & Sex is the yoga class you never knew that you needed. Hilariously written and effortlessly performed by Kathryn Haywood, it's a one woman show that excellently demonstrates how well physical comedy and strong solid writing work together. The show starts in a yoga class with Kathryn Haywood (Kath) speaking to the audience whilst doing a hand stand. By establishing this classroom environment, Kath is able to speak directly to and interact with the audience, leading to some particularly hilarious events. 

Haywood incorporates three actual, but supremely misogynistic and outdated yoga books in her class, which inevitably become the butt of several jokes, which the audience can collectively take joy in. Adding to this, Haywood runs a masterclass in audience humiliation by involving several members (mostly from the first row) to join her in recreating yoga poses, whilst simultaneously flirting with or poking fun at them in good nature.  The class, however, is often punctured by phone messages, from her upcoming date Dave, or close friend Barbara. These allow us glimpses into Kath's life beyond the classroom walls, and we're able to really sympathise and connect with the character through this. There's a particularly great portion about date Dave, where she slips in rhyme after rhyme in a fast paced ramble which deserves its own little moment of appreciation. 

Directed by Dan Mersh, the show becomes a hilarious piece that brings a certain sexiness to yoga. Haywood ensures that the audience are engaged throughout, often pausing for audience responses and making a clear friendly dynamic early on. Relying mostly on witty remarks and blunt honestly, particularly her disdain for goat yoga, she immediately comes across as relatable and with a fun personality. Haywood nails comedic timing and keeps the energy high throughout the show. Unafraid to pick on both the audience, and herself, she's mischievous in all the best ways. 

The staging is minimal (Bob Clayton) with a yoga mat, and a misspelt YOGA sign in the back, the focus is kept solely on Haywood. Lighting and sound are both quite subtle (Miranda Hamill), often changing only to illuminate the audience when there is participation. By doing so, we're really drawn into a calm and peaceful classroom environment.

Haywood brings the show to a close by embracing herself, in all her flaws, and encouraging the audience to do the same. The show carefully steers away from becoming preachy, and keeps us laughing until the very end. Yoga & Sex, whilst advertised as a show aimed at woman forty and over, is a rejuvenating experience that will leave anyone gasping for breath from laughter.  Stuffed with crude jokes and sexual innuendos, Yoga & Sex is the perfect show for a pub theatre, suitable for a cheeky cackle every few minutes.


AD | gifted ticket in return for an honest review


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