Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost
is a one woman show performed by Diane L. Johnstone at the Walmer Centre Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival
This show centers on Johnstone’s portrayal of three distinct characters and their musings, although sometimes vague, about the connection between sex and religion. Neither of the three characters reach any startling or innovative revelations, but the paradoxes of sex in our society are explored. Johnstone seems to be searching for the balance between promiscuity and all its unpleasant complications, and prudishness which can lead to unhappy, unfulfilled partners trapped in a dysfunctional marriage. Johnstone offers her audience three different perspectives, a stripper, a churchgoing mother experimenting with spicing up her sex life and a wise grandmother who laments an entire generation’s disregard for privacy and modesty.
There isn’t a lot that is particularly innovative in this show, and while Johnstone’s portrayal of these three characters is entirely satisfactory, this show does not floor or mesmerize its audience. With that said, I think that Johnstone has created a show whose entertainment value will pander nicely to its own specific audience. There is definite humour woven into her performance. The first character we meet is a cashier/stripper who hops from one loser boyfriend to the next and the result is like hearing a monologue from a cross between a plaintiff from The People’s Court and the woman from that old Canada Reconnect commercial who responds to her phone being cut off by infamously saying, “It’s my cousin’s fault.” The next monologue was reminiscent of a middle aged Blanche Devereaux and as the grandmother, Johnstone has some moments where she is channelling Mo Collins from MADtv, to great effect.
Despite the fact that Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost simply rehashes pre-packaged ideas about sex, love and marriage in our contemporary time, Johnstone has undeniable charm and a raw talent that makes this show enjoyable to watch.
Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost plays at the Walmer Centre Theatre (188 Lowther Avenue) at the following times:
Sun, July 4 9:00 PM
Mon, July 5 7:00 PM
Tue, July 6 9:00 PM
Thu, July 8 5:00 PM
Sat, July 10 5:00 PM
Sun, July 11 7:00 PM
all tickets $10 at the door or book in advance by calling the fringe hotline at 416.966.1062 or go online at http://www.fringetoronto.com/.