ménage (3 stars)

This article is from 2015


Credit: Alexis Dubus

An interview with a prostitute

From a verbatim script by Ryan Good, ménage is an intimate, site-specific show that happens in a secret location for two audience members at a time. Having been ushered into the bedroom by a glamorous, if distant, young woman, the audience is invited to listen to her explain her life choices.

Rather than exploiting the fraught sexual tension, Good's script collects together a variety of voices, neither ignoring the problems (shame, relationship issues, police raids) nor forgetting the humanity of the woman. Although the positives come across as rationalisations, this is more than a complaint about the oppression of women. It even deals with the practical, and negative, consequences of recent legislation.

The discomfort of being in close proximity to the performer lends an immediacy to the performance, and demands a serious, respectful response. It's impossible to ignore the woman as she wanders around her experiences, playing with expectations but also slipping into melancholy or baseless optimism.

The message is simple – sex workers are not pariahs, but people who have the same range of emotions and experiences as other workers. By using interviews with real women, Good has found a way to bypass the usual clichés and create a site-specific show where the format enhances the subject.

Underbelly George Square, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug, times vary, £14.


  • 3 stars

Lucy Tafler presents You ring the doorbell and walk in. Moments later, she greets you, wearing nothing but a smile, and pours a cup of tea. 'What are you after?' Immersive theatre at its most intimate and timely, this world premiere play by award-winning playwright Ryan Good is performed in an Edinburgh flat for an…