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Claire Sweeny on dating and her new show – Sex in Suburbia

Sex in SuburbiaBy Lisa Moro

Claire Sweeney stars in and co-writes Sex In Suburbia, a brand new comedy about dating, men and finding Mr Right. Ahead of Sex In Suburbia arriving at Lighthouse on 25 April, Claire Sweeney told us all about it.

She said:  “It’s about the eternal subject of love and romance and the quest to find Mr Right through a series of mainly unsatisfactory dating experiences.  In our comedy the host of a late-night radio show is Britain’s leading agony aunt and she takes calls from listeners about their dates from hell – and the occasional one from heaven – and dishes out her advice.”

“all the material comes from me and my friends.  I’m the woman who goes on all these dodgy dates looking for love and then reaches a stage in her life when she would like to settle down and become a Mum!”

Claire tells us how the baby related anecdotes came to be in the show:

“I was due to go on tour with the show when I found out I was pregnant.  I had the most gorgeous pregnancy and loved my growing bump and being able to eat what I wanted.

“A few weeks after I had Jaxon, people came up to congratulate me on being pregnant. I hadn’t lost baby weight and they thought I was still expecting! I was a bit embarrassed and replied indignantly, ‘Actually my baby’s six weeks old.’  You can’t ping back into shape immediately.”

So how did she feel about including he own material?

“I found it liberating. I’ve changed the names and places but a few of the dates are based on my real dating experiences. I thought they were funny and I’m glad all the women who saw them in the show thought so too. You have to laugh in the face of adversity, don’t you?  At first you go, ‘Woe is me!’ but then you turn it into a funny story and laugh.”

Claire has included the more outlandish dates experienced by friends…

“Well, one of them found the macho man she was dating wearing a frilly rah-rah dress!  There’s another extraordinary tale about a cross-dresser.  It’s the true story of a woman married to an uncommunicative, unpleasant man who suddenly discovers that he likes to wear women’s clothes. After the initial shock, she becomes the best of friends with his alter ego – who’s softer, warm and kind – and it saves their marriage.  There’s another cautionary tale that carries the warning, ‘be careful what you wish for.’ A man wants to take his wife to a swingers club, but she is reluctant. When he finally persuades her to experiment, she ends up loving it.  He becomes jealous and they end up getting divorced. But there’s nothing vulgar about our show; we’ve made it sympathetic and most of all, amusing.”

And the audience volunteer their own stories!

“We have a slot in the show where they can share their dating nightmares.  Instead of ‘Blind Date’ we call it ‘Bad Date.’  We’d been hearing all these disastrous stories and decided to ask the audience if any of them knew the secret to a happy marriage.  A woman who’d been married for years replied that her tip for marital harmony with a husband was that you should, ‘Just ignore him’. Every woman brave enough to stand on stage receives a free goodie bag from Ann Summers who are supported the show.  An older lady had been married for 50 years and never looked left or right, so we had to explain to her what the bag contained, bless her. It was all done with good humour”

Women love the show

“At first we assumed it would be a comedy for women, but we’ve seen men coming, too.  During a matinee performance   I saw a whole group of fellas fill a row, and at the bar in the interval I asked them why they’d come.  They replied that one of their mates had seen it, loved it and recommended it and so they’d come along as part of a lads’ day out.  There are elements of the show that men can definitely relate to.”

But men do too

“Yes, one of them involves a bloke whose wife is pulling out all the stops – the lingerie and what have you – to seduce him when all he wants to do is watch the footie. Another bloke told us how he went on a date with this gorgeous girl, but when she took him around her house for a cup of tea  he was horrified to realise that he’d taken her mother out the week before!”

So who would Claires ideal date be and where would they go?

“My guilty pleasure is Ray Winstone. I’ve never met him but he seems to get more and more fabulous as he gets older.  He’s such a geezer, the type of bloke who’d look after you. A night out at the theatre followed by a slap-up meal would be perfect. Food and the theatre are my two favourite things.”


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Posted by on Mar 22 2015. Filed under Culture, Latest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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