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Review: Whore

Sat 31 May 2014 In: Performance View at Wayback View at NDHA

Whore offers a raw look at life on the streets through the real stories of Auckland sex workers, and it will open your eyes and maybe break your heart a little. The homey venue of K’ Rd’s Lifewise Merge Café was packed for the Friday night show, with the pews and makeshift benches filled and extra seats scrambled as more people piled in. Despite the close quarters, you could hear a pin drop as the three actors took the stage and each portrayed two very different sex workers. There is no special lighting, barely any props, just the actors on a stage above the audience, and the words. Lee Ah Yen Faatoia evokes both a tortured, straight, drug-addicted rent boy, and a transgender sex worker, who like all the characters has a love-hate relationship with the job. Drug use is a common theme, as is tension between cis and trans street workers. The stand-out feature of this play is the pain and vulnerability behind the fronts the characters put up. They have had tough lives, their stories are heart-rending, but they are survivors. Writer and director Melissa Fergusson met with Auckland sex workers and conducted interviews to gain insight, seeking honest storytelling. She is fascinated why society thinks 'Whore' is a dirty word and wanted to challenge perceptions. She’s done so. All those who are so quick to judge our sex workers, whether it be in disparaging glances, or bylaws to force them from the streets, should see this illuminating play before they cast their next stone. Whore runs until 1 June, every night at 8PM at Lifewise Merge Café at 453 Karangahape Rd. Tickets are just $10, door sales only.  Jacqui Stanford - 31st May 2014    

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Saturday, 31st May 2014 - 9:58am

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