This is a show that knows it's being staged in a bar and uses that to its advantage. It wants you to have a few drinks. Which is a smart way for a show to be when it's also a show that hinges so much on audience participation.
The show has a clear structural framework supported by a series of title cards introducing aspects of sex education which any or all of the three clowns then try to visually explain with props and by playing games with the audience. Unfortunately for shows like this, opening nights tend to be the first time the actors have had a chance to play with a full size audience. But I'm not here to pass judgement on whether it's either possible or appropriate for a show of this scale and intention to have tried to have a rehearsal with a reasonable size audience before opening or not.
What's far more interesting to me is the incredibly satisfying range of audience members in attendance on opening night. There were people who were willing to interact and get involved and they managed to carry the rest of the audience into a game that began with one or two people imitating the response of one of the clowns to a piece of fruit but built until almost the whole audience was involved in the same game. But there were also people like the two girls sitting next to me who were repeatedly saying 'no' throughout some of the more visceral segments. This was where the show shone. The places in which the games involved the most mess and were making these girls the most uncomfortable, revealed the importance of this subject matter and affirmed that much of this content is still taboo even in 2016 despite how far we all think we’ve come. These were also the places where the show revealed its rich potential to offer entertainment and fun from both the actors and from the responses of other audience members.
There were a couple of elements that might have benefited from more considered use. The costuming at the start of the show set up the characters as air hostesses and they opened by showing us the emergency exits. This felt like a strong way to set up some rules for the games that they could play, but other than the presence of the suitcase from which they pulled other props and costumes, air transport didn't really enter into the show again. Their use of music also felt like it lost its impact through inconsistency. I really felt that in a clowning performance, the music could have been used to make the audience feel safer in the moments when the performances lulled, but it was only used in a few segments and I couldn't figure out why it was used in some places but not others.
The show’s reliance on audience was at the cost having a smooth and cohesive opening night but this means that its spirit of fun will only get better over its frustratingly (for both actors and reviewer) short season. BITS is on at Bad Grannies at 7pm on the 21st and 22nd. Go into it knowing that it wants you to be entertained and do have a drink too.