Actor Sieger Sloot is so fanatical in his fight against climate change that he eventually ends up with a psychologist. He is furious and feels lonely: no one seems to take seriously the problems he sees so clearly. He is always the ‘party pooper‘, while denying himself meat, milk and eggs, not flying and putting his children in cloth diapers. While he sacrifices his personal happiness to the planet, others seem to live it up without feeling guilty.

    In SexClimate playwright Maria Goos – who also directed and starred in the play – takes her meetings with two friends as a starting point. In addition to Sloot, actor Michiel de Jong completes the trio. They meet regularly, but Sloot cannot ignore his activism and drives his friends to despair with his arguments. When it becomes too much for them, Goos and De Jong flee into conversations about their sex lives.

    In this way the play bounces back and forth between two subjects: the climate and sex. While Sloot talks about the meat industry, the felling of the Amazon, floods and forest fires; his friends chat about one-night stands, which Goos has great difficulty with, while De Jong had some that were ‘nice enough’. Sometimes a befriended sexologist also makes an appearance (Sloot in kimono) to tell, for example, about ‘the orgasm gap’. Opinions and facts are reviewed: sometimes of the chewed-up kind (men always want sex), sometimes less common (women should not settle for bad lovemaking, because ‘a vagina has a memory’).

    croquette

    The choice of form, in which two potentially controversial themes are mixed, is the shortcoming of the performance. When Sloot wants to bring something to the fore, his friends flee into another topic of conversation, avoiding a confrontation. As a result, nothing changes for a long time: everyone remains convinced of their own right, discussions bleed to death. The encounters are practically a repetition of moves.

    At one point, the two meat eaters order a croquette sandwich, while folding their hands behind their heads in pleasure. They are sitting under a heat lamp on a terrace; the first rays of the sun are not so strong yet. Sloot decides to take meat as well. That’s a striking choice, but it doesn’t do much. It only seems to strengthen Goos and De Jong in their conviction that personal choices do not matter that much in the bigger picture. There is no discussion again. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the few moments when nothing stands in the way of a discussion about principles. Sloot moves towards his friends, but it remains silent.

    Maria Goos has long proven herself as a writer with her impressive oeuvre. Her signature style is also in SexClimate recognizable: smooth dialogues give shape to the characters, based on the actors themselves, and paint a colorful picture of their friendship. But while the writing style is sharp, the further line of the piece is not. Lots of facts are being spewed; children’s photos are shown to indicate differences in upbringing; the actors delve into history and briefly delve into something (the Leprechaun Movement, the Report of Rome), but it does not become a whole.

    This is partly because the themes in the title do not touch: sex could represent the human urge for pleasure, but that is not apparent in this piece. When Goos and De Jong suddenly announce that they are also becoming vegetarians, it comes as a complete surprise. Because their development is underexposed, you are especially curious about Sloot’s struggles at that moment. Everything around it feels like noise.

    Also read this interview with Maria Goos: ‘We live in a pornified society

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