Persephone Theatre comedy finds humour in talking about sex and relationships

Photo Credits: Jenna-Lee Hyde (left) plays Sarah, the down-on-her-luck daughter of Gail, played by Pamela Haig Bartley (right) in ‘The Birds and the Bees’ at Persephone Theatre from March 29 to April 23, 2023. (Supplied / Photo courtesy of Persephone Theatre)

If you ask performer Jenna-Lee Hyde, the last show in Persephone Theatre’s main stage season is “a story about relationships.”

There’s also a lot of talk about sex in the aptly-named The Birds and the Bees.

“I don’t know anybody in my life who actually got ‘the birds and the bees’ talk. I certainly didn’t,” Hyde joked. “I think this show is a good example of some the ways we teach ourselves about sex, and throughout our lives the lessons we learn about sex and how it evolves.”

Hyde is one of the stars of The Birds and the Bees, a comedy by Canadian playwright Mark Crawford running at Persephone Theatre from March 29 to April 23.

The play follows Sarah (Hyde) as she returns home to live with her mother Gail (Pamela Haig Bartley) following Sarah’s separation from her husband. As Sarah finds herself ignored by mother who seems to care more about her honeybees than her daughter, the pair must navigate their own complicated relationship as well as their increasingly awkward connections with long-time neighbour Earl (Cavan Cunningham) and the young enthusiastic Masters student Ben (Ray Jacildo).

The show’s title being a common metaphor for explaining sex is well-placed. Hyde said the play includes “loads” of jokes and reference to sex in a way that brings both great moments of comedy and relatability.

“There’s also the ways we don’t talk about sex — the ways that it’s taboo, it’s uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing, the way there’s some things we’re taught we don’t say about ourselves or other people,” Hyde said.

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