Ad Libido, Vault Festival – Review

Ad Libido: Fran Bushe

It’s one of the great myths of the 21st century. At a time when we supposedly have no sexual hang-ups, the pressure to have fabulous, ‘multiple orgasm’ sex is high. However, like social media, what we ‘advertise’ versus ‘reality’ may be a very different story, In Ad Libido, Fran Bushe is forthright about what it’s been like for since she was ‘sexually active’. As a sufferer of Female Sexual Dysfunction (which covers problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain during sex) this has hindered her potential enjoyment for years, ever since it manifested in her teens.

Punctuated throughout the show are excerpts from her teenage diares, chronicling the numerous attempts for physical intimacy. As well as this, Bushe performs a number of witty, candid songs, expanding on how she was feeling and how others tried to ‘rescue’ her from her ‘situation’.

Some shows that are ‘autobiographical’ embellish the truth, but Bushe does make a point of saying “This really did happen” at various junctures, proving that truth is stranger than fiction.

The latter half of the show is dedicated to Bushe’s time at a New Age commune dedicated to ‘yonis’ and reaching one’s sexual potential. Even in this environment it seems, the pressure to perform was everpresent.

Whatever potential embarrasment there may be in a topic of this nature, Bushe’s candour sweeps this aside and her untainted honesty endears her to the audience. Bushe not finding a ‘cure’ in the end gives the rest of us permission to have less-than-stellar sex lives. In the end, finding a special someone who values us and who we can share ourselves with is the true prize.

© Michael Davis 2018


Ad Libido runs at the Vault Festival until 25th February.

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