Binge Fringe Magazine

REVIEW: YOGA & SEX… for women (over 40), Kathryn Haywood Ryan, Hen & Chickens Theatre ★★★★☆

Kathryn Haywood brings an affable charm to YOGA & SEX… for women (over 40), creating a truly enjoyable and at times interactive theatre experience. Written and performed by Haywood herself, the show takes us through a yoga class meets lecture meets tea-spilling session with a total stranger. The main inspiration comes from 3 yoga books from Australia in the 60s (the home of Yoga, we can all agree). Overall the performance shines with a few awkward moments scattered in between.

YOGA & SEX… for women (over 40) exceeded my expectations, it was a witty and genuine laugh-out-loud show. The writing by Haywood was well-timed and had a wonderful comedic rhythm. I loved the word vomit rhyming poet about a mate and a late date, at… seven. Throughout the show, there were wonderful callbacks and a beautifully composed running joke featuring an unfortunate audience member. I loved watching Haywood’s incredible facial expressions, in fact, her whole performance was wonderful. It had great energy and Haywood built an incredible level of chemistry with the audience. It was easy to join in Haywood’s fun and revelry on stage, she made us feel in on the joke the whole time. I also loved the innuendos, a 69 joke will ALWAYS get a laugh from me.

A key element of the show involved roping the audience into coming onto the stage, doing questionable yoga poses, reading from the books and using Haywood as a seat at one point. I particularly enjoyed the point when we all stood up and were made to sit down until Haywood found an age-appropriate ‘horse man’ to act out some positions from the Karma Sutra. The show did audience interaction well, particularly when there were jokes made at the expense of the audience. However, at times I did think it brought out a bit of awkwardness and felt a few times too many.

Finally, a note for the direction by Dan Mersh, I thought the show was so well-directed. It’s so clear that Marsh built on top of Haywood’s natural comedic timing so well. The show aced its simplicity which is hard to do without clear direction and good writing.

Recommended Drink: for YOGA & SEX… for women (over 40) I would recommend a glass of fine wine…. if you know, you know.

Performances of YOGA & SEX… for women (over 40) have now concluded, but you can keep up with Kathryn Haywood online.

Aditi Mohan

Our Race, Ethnicity & Culture Editor & London Editor. Obsessed with the Postcolonial world. Aditi likes to look at how theatre and comedy reflects today’s world of multiplicity. She’s keen to watch any kind of theatre or performance but comedy is her go to, because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

Festivals: Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Bloomsbury Festival (2023)
Pronouns: She/Her