Review: Captain Condom & the COVID-19 Conundrum (Camden Fringe, online)

Captain Condom & the COVID-19 Conundrum is a clever piece of digital theatre, created by SExT (Sex Education by Theatre), written by the cast and directed by Shira Taylor. It masks a very serious message about sexual awareness and education in a funny show utilising the superhero theme.

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the COVID bug has been defeated and the city’s protector, Captain Condom, has flown in to join a private Zoom call of just two of the young and horny population who have been abstaining from sex due to the lockdown.

As she joins in their planning for a night of pleasure, some fun visuals and a slightly sarcastic narration help get the message across, as several STDs make appearances (the clap is a rock star, chlamydiais a Bollywood icon, crabs are YouTubers, and HIV is … well, let’s just say a very familiar narcissist). The Captain has to head off the temptations of jumping straight in without any thought of the consequences.

Promotional image for Captain Condom

At just thirty-five minutes plus two short alternative endings, this show may be defiantly low-tech, and some performances may be a little stiff, but the young cast are clearly committed to their message, and it is delivered in a way that will hopefully make people listen. No holds barred here.

Using COVID as a reason for bringing Captain Condom back, it makes the point that it isn’t just the mask on your face that protects you, but that what you wrap your other bits with is just as important. A quick piece about how to put on a condom reminded me of the TV appearance of agony aunt Claire Rayner, who if memory recalls had to utilise a banana to demonstrate safe sex practice during the AIDS crisis.

This show succeeds in bringing a theme to attention that many might push to one side, in an accessible and friendly format.

The cast comprises Thuriga Bala (Sam), Charmaine Chang (Maria), Lauren Chang, Aleef Khan (narrator), Michelle Nyamekye, Talib Rashdi, Vincent Bear Russell, Emma Wheaton (Captain Condom) and Joseph Zita.

Captain Condom and the COVID-19 Conundrum can be viewed as part of the Camden Fringe until 30 August. Book your ticket here.