Theatre Review: Magnetic North: Broken Sex Doll

Image: Emily Cooper

Image: Emily Cooper

Broken Sex Doll

The Virtual Stage | Vancouver BC | Magnetic North 2014, Halifax
June 20-24 | Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie University

The Impressment Gang is very excited to see Magnetic North in Halifax this year. We’re excited about this showcase of Canadian theatre and what it means to have a national festival of this nature in our city. We’ll be reviewing the festival here on our blog.

Broken Sex Doll is a musical set in 2136 where everyone would rather feel someone else’s feelings. Daryl (Andrew Cohen), finds himself launched into stardom after uploading a fantastic sexual experience with Ginger (Chelsea Rose Tucker), an Android with upgraded lady parts. The cast displayed the versatility of physical theatre. I was especially impressed with Greg Armstrong-Morris performance, as Mom and the Repair Man.

It spells out a dark future in which respect and sexuality have regressed. The fantastic sexual experience which puts Daryl on the map is purely penetrative. Ginger seems to derive no pleasure, other than satisfaction with her ability to give pleasure; she understands her sexuality only in terms of his pleasure. Women who download the experience feel Daryl’s pleasure and express a desire to possess a penis.  

It is revealed that Daryl was reassembled by Ginger after dying and has become a cyborg. Included in his reprogramming is an inability to swear, as Ginger would prefer a clean and sweet boyfriend. Removed from his vocabulary include, beyond basic blasphemy, most words for genitalia. Where men make women into sex toys, women make men into “perfect boyfriends”.

Broken Sex Doll was an uncomfortable reminder that the battles of rigid sexual identity we thought we were finished with in the late 1990s linger on. Moreover, we’re expected to find the jokes derived from this oppression incredibly hilarious.


Up Next: When It Rains, June 23rd