On Wednesday evening, La Buvette, a delightful venue found in an alley off Hindley Street, welcomed in a jolly crowd to So French, So Naughty – a French swearing class. We were ushered into an intimate room at the back of this bar, with exposed brick and candles scattered about; the vibe was warm, the wine was in audiences’ hands, and everyone was ready to get down and dirty with the language.
Our charming teacher, Arnaud, took the space with a slide show by his side. Within minutes, we all knew that the next hour would be a good laugh, as Arnaud’s humour was witty, organic and accessible for all audiences.
This concept of teaching us to swear in French is incredibly clever as Australians seem to have a deep-set interest in rattling off every swear word we can get our hands on. We are always trying to expand our already colourful language, so it is no surprise that people flock to learn how to swear in the world’s sexiest language. It was rather strange to see a room full of working adults and professionals engaging in such a light-hearted and sometimes vulgar activity. But as Arnaud reiterated with a clip from the Matrix, ‘swearing in French is like wiping your arse with silk’, hence the sophisticated audience.
The pleasure and humour of this show didn’t just come from learning our most common swear words, but from finding out the odd and humorous English translations of French insults. For instance, we learnt phrases that translated to ‘droopy bum’, ‘old windbag’, ‘silly buffoon’ and ‘more piss then sperm’. As you may find out, the French also have a unique obsession with broomsticks and working them into their insults. It was such fun to hear a room full of adults chuckle to such subject matter.
We finished the night with a jolly singalong to a song that is often belted out when drunk. The entire experience was incredibly unique, and left you feeling jovial and lively at the end of the evening.
I cannot speak of this show, or this general concept, with higher praise. It will have you laughing, and for a moment, it transports you out of the quaint little room that pairs so well with imagery of wine, to a place of fun and adventure – almost the same thrill you get from travelling.
In summary, the French language is very sexy, Arnaud was very entertaining, and this show was very good.
So French, So Naughty was presented by Sips and Giggles, who pride themselves on providing the adults out there with an escape from their serious and monotonous working lives. All year round they offer swearing and flirting classes in French, so if you can’t get to the Fringe to see this show, hit the group up another time of year. If you are looking to attend, I would highly recommend you get in quick – their shows sell out hard and fast!
Words by Michelle Wakim
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