August 06 2019
Intense flashing lights. A repeated chant of her name. Instructions on a screen demanding extended standing ovation and applause. Madame Komondor knows how to make an entrance, and my God does she do it with style.
An exploratory journey of sexual repression and obsession, Madame Komondor Will See You Now shatters any hesitations about broaching the s-e-x topic. Using condoms as hand puppets and dragging audience members onstage almost immediately, a sense of safety and hilarity is created and sustained throughout the entire show.
The show’s premise is Madame (played by Krista Komondor) explaining her life as a sex therapist, treating over-stimulated men by putting them to hard labour on her lavender farm. The absurdity delivered with such reverence was hysterical, her tight leather trousers and strong French accent only adding to the cocktail of chaos. Her ‘6-week penile retraining programme’ encompasses the essence of the show- the need for open conversation about sex.
The piece was slick, her comic timing nailed to perfection. The show transitions from life at the lavender farm and the sweet, perfumed, cushion-balls of her patients, to becoming a live sex-therapy session answering questions from the audience. The multi-faceted nature of the piece not only demonstrates her talent for comedic characterisation and writing, but her gift for improvisation also. Her responses brim with wit, and what seemed to be genuine compassion and clarity for audience members; creating a unique space of limbo between wit and wisdom.
Bombarded with questions of ladies’ preferences when shaving their downstairs, or the population’s favourite porn genres, the audience is permanently on edge, filled with an energetic buzz. However, aside from the outrageous and frankly howl-worthy harassment, something more groundedslid subtly into the conversation. Woven into the dialogue are important issues that are not spoken about in the modern world. Human’s competition with electronic sex toys. The expectation that every woman should have porn-star moves in the sack. Daily complexities we all face in a modern age that demands instant gratification and satisfaction. “We’re not porn-stars and we are enough.”
While sad to be leaving without a ‘Bonsoir Bitches’ t-shirt or a £400 bottle of lavender lube, I did leave with a cheeky grin on my face. Madame Komonder Will See You Now was an experience like no other, a relentless rollercoaster of ‘I’m laughing so hard I need to pee’ and ‘Wait, was that a message that we all need to self-love?’. Comic gold with a big, loving heart - I cannot recommend this show enough.
EdFringe Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
August 06 2019
Madame Komondor is doing God’s work. It’s as she says: “the dicks are limp and the pussies are dry”. A workshop on how to focus on female pleasure is more necessary than ever. Porn is everywhere these days (“it’s like slamming shots of tequila”), and with the entire industry centred around male ejaculation, Madame Komondor Will See You Know is here to right the wrongs of the unjust dismissal of the female orgasm.
Not to worry if your fingers are not so nimble or your tongue not so quick. Madame has prepared an hour-long intimate workshop to refine essential skills and re-centre the spotlight on women’s pleasure. (As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.)
We (and when I say we, I mean, we, the audience) begin with tongue training - if you’re looking for an easy ride, this show isn’t it. From the moment our sex therapist for the night enters - complete with red lips, leather jacket, stethoscope and a condom-gloved hand - be ready for an onslaught of ballsy one-liners and an in-your-face intimacy about as comfortable as it sounds.
As a concept, the workshop is excruciating and hilarious, and could only be pulled off by a personality such as Madame Komondor. Whilst the persona is at times a little thin and could be fleshed out further with more developed jokes, the well-chosen French accent and not-so-subtle character quirks are brought out best by shock-value similes and one-liners (“porn is the Ebola of the western world”, as a hand-picked example). It should be said that an open mind and a suspended sense of boundaries are definite requirements as soon as you walk in the door.
Aware of its own caricatural, ironic humour, the show is funnier more for its capacity to shock and embarrass than its wit. Heavily dependent on ‘wildly interactive’ audience participation, this is perhaps unlike anything you have seen before, and will certainly be more enjoyable the more the audience give.
It is the ending that cements this show’s relevance in a post-#MeToo society, and adds an unexpected yet unflinching resonance to the entire spectacle. I have a ‘What Would Madame Do?’ rubber bracelet now and, after the surprising glimpse of honesty at the end, I am wearing it proudly. Debunking porn-dictated standards of female body hair, chanting “I am enough” and leading a masterclass on how women can get better at accepting compliments? If that’s what Madame would do, I’m in.
August 12, 2019
Inspired by the #metoo movement, this amuse-bouche written and performed by Krista Komondor, allows her character off the leash to search for men in need of a cure for erectile dysfunction, or women who have difficulty achieving orgasm. Whoever you are, whatever you’ve got, Madame will see you now. It’s sex therapy with some very good punchlines.
Overall, it’s a lot of fun, with some set-pieces neatly punctuated by non-threatening audience participation. With a small house this becomes logistically difficult and this reviewer found himself pulled into the action so much he was in danger of reviewing himself. No matter – Madame is very much in control and has a good time with her victims – I really liked the way she would gently get consent before participation – and all of the interaction is skilfully managed. I was blindfolded and had some hands-on treatment from Madame to help free me from thoughts of domination – I left with a masturbation alarm (a rubber wristlet with two cat bells which I shall treasure always).
Madame Komondor is clad in tight leather trousers, bright crimson lipstick and a faux French accent that wouldn’t go amiss in “’Allo ‘Allo”. She owns a lavender farm in Avignon, which is also the place where she treats these personal difficulties and she demonstrates some of these therapies during her show. Disclosure of most of those activities here would be a spoiler – suffice to say that Onan would be first in the firing line. Mind you, it makes the lavender grow.
I feel that a couple of the sections need a bit of work (I’m allowing for the small house) and it will be very interesting to see how this piece develops. It’s rich territory and Madame could quickly find herself a festival regular. The really nice thing about this show is that the pace and structure allows Komondor to move swiftly from section to section without longeuse. Whether dancing with her audience or teaching them how to pay a compliment, there’s a gentle subtext that reminds us that we need to be kind to one another – and that sexism and intolerance are often just beneath the surface of our modern lives.