By Julia Arenas
Philippine Arts Month 2018 is back with their delightful, no holds barred art festival, Fringe, a local installment by the World Fringe Network. More than 200 Fringe festivals take place globally and at this year’s Fringe MNL some new naughty and nice acts will pull in crowds from near and far. Enter one of Fringe’s featured acts, Deus Sex Machina, a group of eloquent comrades who saw a gap to fill in the indie entertainment scene.
In the Philippines, sex is often spoken about in hushed tones followed by an occasional giggle or awkward remark. Many Filipinos are not as open when it comes to discussing or openly joking about intercourse. With the aim of slaying sex taboo and creating spaces for artistic expression with regards to the act, Deus Sex Machina comes forward; they comically act out erotic mini skits that sometimes function as a form of social commentary.
Marco Sumayao, co-founder and member of Deus Sex Machina, describes it in a mouthful as a comedic erotica live reading show consisting of originally written and compiled 10-minute acts. “We’ve been together for about four years and we’ve grown from a group of 11 people to a team of 40 creatives. It’s kind of fun, it’s like a huge, scary family.”
Recounting their first show a few years ago, Marco recalls how they expected just a few of their friends to come, but a massive crowd turned up at the venue. It was so packed Marco and friends had to turn some people away at the door, and a couple of curious would-be fans watched from the windows. “If you get to go to a show where people talk about it [sex] openly, suddenly it’s liberating for both the performers and the audience.” At Fringe 2018 original work, features, and art will be showcased to further the audience reach of independent artists and performers. International collaboration is encouraged and nurtured to help spark certain creative and artistic interest in destinations like the Philippines.
If you're curious and want to watch the Deus Sex Machina troupe perform live, they do have an upcoming staging towards the end of February. Marco invites everyone available to come watch. “We have our first full-length musical coming up on Feb 23, 9pm at Yuchengco Museum. It's titled ‘My Dad's Imaginary Castrated Penis’. It's not a full production, but a staged reading/singing of the material.” Tickets for that performance are available here via Ticketworld and a limited supply will be available at Yuchengco Museum as well.
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