Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Rachel Mars: Your Sexts are Shit: Older Better Letters

Review: Rachel Mars: Your Sexts are Shit: Older Better Letters
4★★★★

We open with a letter from James Joyce, describing to his lover how much he enjoys the sensuous nature of her farts. Yes, this is only the beginning of Rachel Mars’ Your Sexts are Shit: Older Better Letters. Strap in, as things only get dirtier, and more hilarious, as the show progresses.

Mars intersperses readings of historical, sexual letters with projected screenshots of vastly different and very blunt modern sexts. Mars reads these letters in a serious, resonant voice which becomes even more hilarious when reading the more obscene content of the letters. The audience is evidently shocked by the various levels of naughtiness described in visceral detail, as this show does take place at eleven-thirty in the morning. Yes, a little early for a discussion of sexuality – however, Mars does an excellent job of balancing the hilarity with the tenderness behind written word sex. 

This show is taboo-busting; Mars describes her own sex life in vivid detail and talks us through extremely personal sexual habits with charisma and confidence. Mars is such a presence on stage that you are drawn to her – as she addresses a sexy letter to the audience, you feel yourself being completely compelled. She also utilises tech proficiently, balancing working various types of projector devices and musical interludes. 

What at first seemed to be a comedy show poking fun at the differences in historical and modern sexting, instead becomes a historical insight into sex and the queer narratives that are so easily lost within history. Primarily, Mars’ show is a love letter to sexting. Sexting through letters, through the phone, about groceries, and about farting: Mars teaches us to love it all. By deconstructing the concept of the sex, Mars successfully makes us laugh to tears but also forces us to hear queer sex, explicit and proud, in tandem with love. 

Rachel Mars,Your Sexts are Shit: Older Better Letters, Summerhall:  Red Lecture Theatre, August 13th -18th, 20th – 25th, 11.30am