As a fan of theatre, and anything that might come under that umbrella, I do my best to see a wide range of genres and styles of performance. Despite this, nothing I’ve seen before can quite compare to Coming Clean: Life as a Naked House Cleaner.
Performed by Ethan Mechare, at a secret location in Bounds Green, the show is part of Camden People’s Theatre’s Hotbed Festival. Pitched as an interactive, concept comedy, the show certainly does not disappoint. From the moment I arrived at the discrete venue, every effort was made to help me feel welcome and at ease. Ethan and his assistant, the lovely Cath Royal, made sure to both say hello and had quickly learnt the names of all the intimate audience.
The cosy setting piqued my curiosity but very quickly lent itself to furthering the sense of comfort, both physical and mental, that supported the whole performance. Our host, Ethan, is delightfully enthusiastic and very charismatic, from his love for Oprah Winfrey to his hysterical impressions of a couple of his clients. The confident flow and conversational freedom of his delivery energised the room and his openness encouraged a similar lack of inhibition from the audience. In fact, I even wound up revealing details of an experience I had only otherwise shared with my closest friends.
The show is very, very funny, full of fantastic anecdotes, but the humour is a path into a deeply engaging discussion and one about which Ethan has clearly thought a lot. The exploration of ‘sexual desire’ as a concept and the audiences perceived ‘dos’, ‘don’ts’ and everything in between is what really makes this show stand out as an experience and Ethan’s ability to host this discussion whilst maintaining the through-line of the show is particularly impressive.
Since leaving the venue last night, the questions raised and discussions had have been on my mind, so much so that I’m very tempted to go again just to engage in the conversation again but I think, for me, that is the key point with this wonderful show; it questions why we can’t or shouldn’t be more forthcoming, more open, with what sexual desire is to us and what it is we really want and, having talked it over with a group of strangers and a very charming host, I can’t think of a valid answer.
A must-see for anyone and everyone who’s ever had a secret fantasy and is open to learning something new about the world of desire and, maybe even, themselves.
Review by Benjamin Powell
Welcome to a brand new idea of an interactive, concept comedy, in which your host explores ideas around sexual fantasy, voyeurism… and housework!
Coming Clean is a theatrical experience – set in a cosy space – during which your new BFF, Ethan, takes you on a journey of his stories as a naked house cleaner. Guests are asked to challenge and embrace their own ideas of ‘sexual desire’. We know that sexual fantasy is on all of our minds, but very few speak about it… but why?
Ethan Mechare says, “I wrote the play to encourage a cultural conversation. I want to shine a light on how little we speak about our fantasies and that if we vocalised our feelings more often we’d potentially feel less uptight and ostracized. I love that the audience helps me write the piece every night, I confide in them and ask their advice which makes everyone in the room feel connected. The key to the piece is exactly that: connection. Connection to one another, to our partners, but most importantly to ourselves – what does each of us desire? And what makes it so bad?”
Get ready to have your mind expanded with some funny and thoughtful tales, some cheesy balls and a bit of a tipple.
So, are you ready to be cleansed?
Written & Performed by Ethan Mechare
Directed by: Jill Patterson
Produced by: Julia Mucko