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Sex worker sorrows

Diana Klaosen

Erica Price is a solitary dreamer and i industrious sex worker whose monologues reveal desperation for companionship. Her daily musings, including a mantra that ends, “...I ask myself: Who the fuck is Erica Price? And what is her price?”, allude to neighbourhood friendships that will never eventuate for her. A motif that begins, “When the Revolution comes…” refers to all manner of improvements and happiness that the increasingly delusional Erica needs to believe in.

Some of her clients are in love with her, some are self-absorbed, but they still want her reassurances, or her platitudes, for that is all she offers them. All 7 male clients are played by Lucien Simon, who is able to imbue each with a distinct persona. He conveys the hypocrisy and selfishness of several of these characters with particular skill. Subtly and empathically played by Marisa Mastrocola, Erica is vulnerable and determined, funny and sad as she descends into disillusionment bordering on the catatonic.

With Mastrocola’s pose and body language at the play’s conclusion exactly as they were at its beginning, director Tania Bosak implies that the action has come full circle. Erica is back at square one, having achieved nothing, and still longing for a life that will never eventuate. This confronting play could easily become too bleak but, finding moments of comedy, director and performers hit the right note.

Scape Inc., Who the Fuck is Erica Price, writer Sarah Brill, director Tania Bosak, Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre, June 20-29; Carlton Courthouse, Melbourne, Aug 7-17.

RealTime issue #50 Aug-Sept 2002 pg. 44

© Diana Klaosen; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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