Putting on the red boots: role-play as ‘coping work’ and ‘creative work’ in the theatrical representation of prostitution

BUSH, Sophie (2017). Putting on the red boots: role-play as ‘coping work’ and ‘creative work’ in the theatrical representation of prostitution. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 1-16. (In Press)

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1468276...
Link to published version:: 10.1080/14682761.2017.1311507

Abstract

This article examines the representation of various forms of prostitution in a range of contemporary theatre pieces, from the traumatised victims of sex-trafficking in Cora Bissett’s and Stef Smith’s RoadKill (Traverse, Edinburgh 2010; Theatre Royal, Stratford East 2011), to more diverse depictions of sex workers in Alecky Blythe’s verbatim piece The Girlfriend Experience (Royal Court 2008; Young Vic 2009) and the group devised Sex Workers’ Opera (Courtyard Theatre 2014; Arcola 2015; Pleasance, Islington 2016). Particular attention is paid to examining each piece’s claims towards ‘authenticity’ of representation. Alongside this, instances of metatheatricality and role-playing within the role within each of these works are considered, highlighting the adoption of performance practices by real-life and fictionalised prostitutes. Drawing on Kirsten Pullen’s study of the overlap between actresses and ‘whores’, which suggests performance as a strategy that lends agency to sex workers, on Bertolt Brecht’s model of gestic acting, and on Dorothy Heathcote’s definitions of the twin aims of role-play as ‘coping work’ and ‘creative work’, this article examines the potential for each within the performative acts of prostitutes

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/14682761.2017.1311507
Depositing User: Carmel House
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 13:39
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 23:42
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15594

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