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#Ad Monday 28 June saw the opening night of Sex is Hard Work at the Cluny 2. A book written by Emily Payne. Adapted into a stage play by Alison Stanley and produced by Christine Stephenson, this play sheds light on what life is really like for a UK sex worker – telling the story of a former Tyneside escort.
Alison Stanley said: “What impressed me most about the person that inspired this is that she most definitely isn’t what you’d expect a stereotypical sex worker to be like. She’s not the drug addict or the lonely misguided person that has been taken advantage of by the pimp that we hear about in Netflix documentaries. She’s a straight-talking businesswoman who saw an opportunity and used it to her advantage.”
It was great to be back inside a venue for a play. The Cluny 2 provides a small stage area and brings real intimacy. Sex themed songs played in the background with the likes of Justin Timberlake’s Sexy back, Rihannas S&M and the Rolling Stones (I cant get) No Satisfaction to name a few. The sound track chosen purposefully, drops into the subconcious while waiting for the play to start.
We’re introduced to Roxy played by Alison Stanley, mid session with a client. Now this brought a few different feelings to light at once. Fear about what i was about to see, humour at was i was seeing and a little disbelief this was only the opening scene.
This is a story of how ‘Roxy’ ended up doing the job she found herself to be quite good at. How it started, and how it progressed into different avenues. It’s a story of a woman taking control of her own destiny and mostly control of the situation. That applies to her own and many of the clients she dealt with. We find that its not a dirty seedy thing, and that everyone has their own reason for doing it.
From retail to chat lines, dominatrix and fetish specialist. We learn about the many types of men and women that use these services and some of the reasons why. A small group of actors in Steve Udale (who took on many of the roles and was a brave man for some of them) Rod Glenn, Cameron Fraser, Connor Haley, Rebecca Corbett and Emily Payne herself, portray the many types of clientele and other escorts to great effect and mostly humerous situations. You may even learn a few things along the way, like the essential kit required from stockings and a BJ Bobble, to learning about hard sports.
While mostly humerous throughout it has moments of empathy. That to her own personal siutation with her father, that later in the play is further complicated and to a friend who goes through an abusive relationship, as we also learn of the negative assumptions or pre conceptions that can be made about those in the industry. This for me was quite sobering and a reminder of the dangers that are also possible.
Although some of Roxys friends think it’s all glitz and glamour, it turns out Sex is Hard Work! An insightful play into the world of the sex industry and what goes with it. Lots of humour, with Alison Stanley leading the charge, moments of empathy and education! If you want a real life insight into the industry and a laugh, then i’d definately reccomend grabbing a ticket to see this show. Limited Tickets available.
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