Steve Coombs Radio Plays

*Mr Sex....2004
R4, Friday Play, 15 October 2004, 21:00 hrs, 60 min, with Garrick Hagan/Emily Wachter/Adel Robbins/Jason Chan/Stephen Hogan/Niddi del Fatti/Liza Ross/Helen Longworth/Ewan Bailey/Alex Tregear/Kerry Shale/Stuart McLoughlin/Robert Hastie. This is a play about the famous Kinsey, his sex survey, and his private life. The Kinsey Institute is still going strong; I think it's part of Indiana University. The curious among you might put "Kinsey" into the search engine Google and see what they do. They've put some of the contents of Kinsey's report on-line.

Radio Times: Fifty years ago, Kinsey paid the price for discovering the truth about sexual behaviour in the US. .... This play tells how the safest man on the dullest campus in the US came to change our world.......

BBC Publicity: In 1936, Alfred C Kinsey was a 38-year-old leading light of the Boy Scouts of America and a zoologist at a college in Bloomington, Indiana, with a keen interest in gall wasps. When he was asked by the Dean to tutor the sex module on a marriage course for students engaged to be married, Kinsey insisted on doing a little research of his own to back up his teaching. Fifteen years later, Kinsey had collected 18,000 300-page “sex histories” and conducted the largest survey of human sexual behaviour ever undertaken. A lot of what we know and take for granted about sex was first discovered by Kinsey and his students. Mr Sex is the tragi-comic tale of that journey and how a few pioneers opened up a whole new continent of science. The cast includes Garrick Hagon as Kinsey and Adele Robbins, sister of actor and director Tim, as his wife, Mac. The cast also includes Liza Ross.The writer is Steve Coombes. Producer/Peter Kavanagh

.........and part of another review sent to me:

...........This was the story of Alfred Kinsey, author of the Kinsey reports into male and female sexuality, which shocked America about itself in 1948 and 1953.

I was unaware that Kinsey had been dragged before the House Un-American Activities Committee. According to Steve Coombs's engrossing play, he pointedly declined to use what he knew of the sexual proclivities of McCarthy and Hoover as a bargaining counter and found his funding from the Roosevelt Foundation cut off. The foundation later declared that the support it had given to Kinsey was the best money it had ever spent. How much of all this was attested fact and how much supposition is neither here nor there - this was adult entertainment of the very highest quality.

The relationship between Kinsey and his wife, Clara McMillen, was beguilingly portrayed by Garrick Hagon and Adele Robbins. Theirs was a relationship that had conquered sexual ignorance and the Kinsey family story was deeply moving. The emotional rollercoaster of Peter Kavanagh's production had its high points of hilarity, too, particularly with the respondents to Kinsey's ground-breaking questions. One woman replied un-embarrassed that she "almost always" achieved sexual satisfaction. "Is this after, before, or at the same time as your husband?" enquired the professor. Her reply? "I don't know, he's at work." (..taken from an online review by Keith Bruce)


.....a quote from Anne Hooper, sex therapist, suggests that exposure to gratuitous sex on television has not done much for the education process: "A recent programme showed that only 21 percent of men tested actually knew the whereabouts of the clitoris. This must have been devastating for the partners of the other 79 percent. ....it is established that there is a profound link between sexual knowledge and the ability to be a rewarding and sensual lover. Similarly, women asking for help with non-achievement of orgasm invariably know nothing of their own sexual responses...." (2003)

.....and another quote, this time from the famous book "Ideal Marriage" by Van der Velde (1928), who is talking about exactly the same thing : ...."After the bridal night comes the honeymoon. Quite erroneous beliefs are current about this stage of married life, especially among young bachelors. Just as they depict or describe the bridal night as a riot of supreme pleasure, so they anticipate a ceaseless succession of unrestrained sexual enjoyment, from the first weeks of conjugal life. They are gravely mistaken............."

A related play, "They are a married couple", is briefly reviewed on the Sheila Goff page.

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

UPDATE ... This play won the 2004 Imison Award. See Imison page and the remarks by Neville Teller.

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