Sex Education review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘a sex-positive confessional’
When Harry Clayton-Wright came out to his parents at 14, his mother accepted this revelation but was unable to talk to him about it. Conversely, his father bought the boy a selection of gay porn with which to educate himself.
Today, following a self-styled sexual awakening, Clayton-Wright has made his body available to everybody through the internet. He is an articulate, sex-positive performance artist both prolifically promiscuous and fiercely independent.
Sex Education allows Clayton-Wright to explore his introduction to sex through a recorded interview with his understandably cautious mother about her marriage and his own early life. It’s clear that this is a guy who loves his mother, even if he doesn’t fully understand her. Today, he tries to protect her from exposure to his internet persona and from this he draws some parallels. As a child, she protected him and his kid sister from the increasingly bizarre behaviour of their father.
Behind the sexual imagery – and there’s a lot of it – Clayton-Wright nails a serious, prescient point. Questioning his audience both here and on the Brighton Fringe has revealed a shockingly poor standard of sex education from both parents and schools. Clayton-Wright’s performance style may seem extreme, but his show underlines that LGBT+ education could be considered another form of suicide prevention.
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