Jeff Leard’s Sperm Wars is a gleeful, sticky mess of a one-man sci-fi comedy. Taking his cues from shows like One Man Star Wars, and then running hyperactively away with them, Leard presents what might be just the first instalment of a whole epic saga.
One half of Leard’s expansive cast of characters are members of a fleet of sperm-people piloting X-Chromosome-Wing and Y-Chromosome-Wing fighter craft. They launch from the left testicle to fight their way into the female reproductive system and face what they perceive to be the looming threat of the Egg, a “star of death” within the “massive space of the uterus.” The other half of the cast are a race of egg-women, who sacrifice one of their number to the uterus each month. The parallel events unfolding across two reproductive tracts feel like a cross between Logan’s Run and A New Hope.
Leard’s comedic timing and character work is spot on, and his creative energy and endurance are more than up to the task of delivering a massive variety of great scenes with breakneck pacing. While the exact handling of some moments falls a little flat, mostly in attempts to milk two particular jokes for a bit more than they are really worth, it is likely that subsequent performances will iron out these kinks.
Overall, Sperm Wars is a hot thick splash of fun, and a great first show to get me excited about the rest of the festival. I just hope I haven’t seen this Fringe’s best show prematurely. I’m more inclined to save the best for last.
Reviewed at the 2015 Victoria Fringe Festival by Max D’Ambrosio