Sexercise - The MusicalLeft – Kristin Holland and Fem Belling. Cover – Lyall Brooks, Nicole Melloy and Fem Belling.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this, despite having had two enthusiastic cast members tell me how good it is. Performers have to be in love with their shows, it comes with the job spec. But Sexercise – The Musical is FANTASTIC.

If you like this sort of thing, and even if you think you don't, you will love it. Believe me. It's very funny, tightly written, the songs are classic musical numbers, the story works very well, the performers are just peachy and they all do a briliant job. The whole thing hangs together beautifully. This show does exactly what it sets out to do and it does it with style, professionalism and verve. But wait, there's more! It's got something to say, characters you can relate to and it delivers the goods in a warm, unpretentious manner.

Joe and Sam (Lyall Brooks and Nicole Melloy) are thirty somethings with a child struggling with a marriage gone stale. They do the right thing and go to couples therapy. Rhonda (Fem Belling) has some advice. Things begin to change. The secondary stories involve man-about-town Shane (Kristin Holland) trying to hold on to his youth, lezzo Tania (songbird Lulu McClatchy) still in love with her married ex and Andy (Cameron MacDonald) who's got a-ways to go in self-awareness. One highlight is Shane's song 36 not 23, about not being in a Boy Band. There's a reason we don't hear about Man Bands, after all.

Opening with a rousing ensemble number about the joys of sexercise, the show makes you wait a good 20 minutes until sex pops up again, so to speak. It's all very cute but thoroughly grown-up as well. Derek Rowe wrote this, the story and the lyrics as well as composing the music to the songs, following a request from producers Malcolm C. Cooke and Aleks Vass. It all began over a decade ago when Vass produced a novelty book about the number of calories expended in various sexual activities. Now we have an original Australian off-Broadway style show with a Melbourne centric bent (and you can't grumble about that).

Musical direction by Trevor Jones. Stage direction is by Sara Greenfell. Opening night went off like a cracker although there were some technical hitches with sound. Sexercise the Musical takes place in the brand spanking new Alex Theatre in The George in St KIlda. Try to get seats up the front or up the back, though, as sightlines round the middle on the left mean you can't see anything; we were in Row S and had to move). This needs to be sorted.

Go go go!

Malcolm Cooke and Aleksander Vass present
by Derek Rowe

Venue: Alex Theatre (former George Cinema) | 135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Dates: from 24 February 2015
Tickets: from $49.90
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 |

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