The Talk

by Neela Doležalová

Performed at Rich Mix, London 20th January 2018 and Vault Festival 15th -16th March 2018

Keara Stewart image 4 for THE TALK at Richmix (300dpi).jpg

Too much, too little, or just right? What do you wish you’d been taught (or, not taught) about sex and relationships? Over the last year, playwright Neela Doležalová asked friends and strangers these questions, and they shared their memories and stories…

From students to teachers, and doctors to former education secretaries, Neela has recorded over 40 hours of interview material from people in their teens to their nineties. Over 70 voices have been edited down to a 70-minute headphone verbatim show, directed by Kristine Landon-Smith.

These very personal interviews form the content for a new play that will make you laugh, cry, wince and possibly snort. The interviews have been edited to capture the essence of each voice and the actors perform whilst listening to the recorded material through headphones. This technique allows every breath, every utterance, every idiosyncratic detail of the speaker to be captured by the performer. Once you’ve heard ‘The Talk’, you won’t forget it.

From the wonderful and bizarre to the truly worrying, ‘The Talk’ charts the political and social history of sex and relationship education in England.


Headphone verbatim theatre is an intimate storytelling method, allowing the audience to enter into other people’s worlds. So, sit back and listen as strangers, politicians, campaigners and school children tell you about their experiences of sex education. From Ed Balls and Nicky Morgan, to inquisitive 11-year-olds and angry 15-year-olds. Yes, this is political theatre, because sex is political.


Writer: Neela Doležalová
Neela is a playwright and maths teacher with a love of all things awkward. Her writing credits include Playing Fields (Soho Theatre) and Lock the Gates (National Youth Theatre). She is currently a scriptwriter for Now Press Play and through her experiences as a teacher became interested in how schools teach about sex and relationships.

Director: Kristine Landon-Smith
As co-founder of Tamasha Theatre, Kristine’s shows include East is East, The Trouble with Asian Men, Sweet Cider, Wuthering Heights, The House of Bilquis Bibi and The Arrival. Kristine’s freelance credits include work with the Royal Court Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Nitro, Yellow Earth Theatre & The Royal Danish Theatre.


Ken Birk, Divian Ladwa, Nyla Levy, Stephen Myott-Meadows, Anna Nguyen, Josephine Starte

Image © Keara Stewart


'Wow, wish I’d thought of this idea myself! I can’t believe the history of sex ed hasn’t been turned into headphone verbatim already. Unbelievable. Massive gap in the market.' – Jo. King.

'Really? A play about sex education? Good luck.' – C. Nick.

From Neela’s previous shows:

'Dolezalova demonstrates a sharp ear for the comic bizarreness of everyday speech… she can make tragic and comic feeling grate against each other' - Time Out

'Dolezalova has a great ear for dialogue and great confidence in not spelling everything out…' - The Times