Tag Archives: prostitution

The Complex: Horae


Here’s a saucy one: a play about whores!

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about Horae – a unique theatre piece about the ancient craft of prostitution. From virgins to whores: in this roughly 40 minute performance Susie Lamb (the creator and performer) dances the audience through her darkishly enlightening tale.

Presented through the eyes of a single character, Lamb deepens us into the ancient world of sacred temples, where the street girls weren’t from the streets at all, they were regarded as almost holy creatures capable of providing the best cure, care and comfort. The goddesses of high places they were. And how quickly everything changed. Horae brings us back in time to learn how drastically the history can turn sometimes. In her mix of movement and spoken word, Lamb narrates the story of how once a sacred profession, a trade of respect and honour, fell so low it became a shame, an unspoken taboo.

Brought to us by NEST theatre company, Horae is an amazing example of theatre created by women and about women that could be easily enjoyed by everyone. Horae is a very strong, very unlike anything else piece of raw daring theatre at its best. It uses powerful elements to carry the already quite substantial and important subject forward and present it to the audience in a unique shape.

In Horae it quickly becomes obvious that Lamb knows her trade inside out. A professional actress and dancer, she is comfortable enough in her natural habitat to present the story to the others while keeping it fresh and engaging at all times.

Horae is a combined piece of many big and small elements. It’s a rich performance when it comes to interpretation but quite appropriately modest regarding the set design and costumes. Nevertheless, the one thing that does stand out is the lighting design (by Adrian Mullan). Visually striking beginning – the red light dot traveling through the body of the actress – was the perfect opening for such a performance.

A thoroughly researched and even more masterfully performed piece that shouldn’t be missed, Horae runs in the The Complex till February 26th. For more info or to book the tickets, do not hesitate a second and contact: http://thecomplex.ie/cinema/horae/

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Filed under Horae, Scene and Heard Festival, Susie Lamb, The Complex, The Complex Live Arts Space, Uncategorized

Project Arts Center: The Game (Dublin Theatre Festival 2015)

“We are here to help. We are not enjoying this but we will pretend that we do. It didn’t happen to me, it happened to somebody else.”

Would you dare to play The Game?

Don’t answer just yet. I’ll ask the same question after the review.

When a theatre company has a very specific and unique style, when it dares you to come and look into the bare boned face of the truth, when it challenges you, when it makes you uncomfortable, when it discusses big-scale problems of a small country, when it tries to find a solution, an answer, a response… then you know you are about to watch a play by the THEATREclub Company.

Another great thing about this theatre company is that it doesn’t only invite you to come a see a play, but it also allows (even needs) you to be a part of the their piece. THEATREclub works with real people and their plays are based on real life experiences. THEATREclub gives you a unique chance of experiencing something tragic and urgent without the big trauma.

The Game is a great example of such a play. It’s a devised work between Gemma Collins, Lauren Larkin (both of whom are on stage), Grace Dyas (directing) and “women currently employed as sex workers and those who have exited prostitution.” 

The play is presented as a live game show. There are five male volunteers on stage who agreed to participate. Absolutely any member of either the play or the audience can leave and come back (if they feel like it) at any point during the performance. And believe me, it’s a very comforting thought when you get to experience the process of The Game. This play does challenge in a way that no other play has ever challenged you before.

It’s important to remember that there are things that just need to be said out loud. You might not like them, you might not want to hear them, you might easily be getting overwhelmed with the information the actors are giving you, so take care of yourself. The actors on stage will guide you. But they will need you just as much as you will need them.

In their turns, each actress picks one of the volunteers and they re-enact a story that happened in real life. “It didn’t happen to them, but it did happen to somebody else.” The volunteers do not know the stories, they are being directed by the girls. Each story is different. Each story happened to a different person and had different consequences. All the stories have only one thing in common: all those girls (ex or current prostitutes) have been victims or violence, rape, ill treatment.

There are people out there who go on about their day, have families and jobs and, at the end of the day, they pull over at some dirty dark alley to get cheap sex from a desperate underaged girl. These men’s culture, background, morales would let them go ahead with the deal, but they would never even question why she is there, why she is doing what she’s doing, why nobody would stop her?

Why nobody would stop her? Why nobody cares? 

In different countries different rules apply when it comes to sex. How far can you go? How far would the law allow you to go without being punished? How far would the law go to protect the weak and the vulnerable ones? Why in one country you would be allowed to have sex with a newborn and in another country you would be a criminal by handing a sum of money to a prostitute even before anything happened?

A few weeks ago I already saw a play that touched the very same issue but in a different context. I said it then and want to repeat it now: it’s great to be able to live in a country where sex isn’t a taboo anymore. That’s why it’s so important to go and support plays like this. If we don’t want to do it for the sake of art, then we shall definitely do it for the sake of a better future where a problem can be acknowledged and dealt with, instead of being ignored and frowned upon.

So, I’m asking you one more time: Would you dare to play The Game? Remember: “you are there to help. And you are helping.” 

Catch this outstanding performance before it ends on October 11th. For more info or to book tickets: http://projectartscentre.ie/event/game/ 

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Filed under Dublin Theatre Festival 2015, Project Arts Center, The Game, THEATREclub