The Sacred Obscene

Set mainly in a London strip club, The Sacred Obscene is a new play following the stories of the women who work there. It feels like a genuine telling of real people, which, though not the most thrilling performance at the Fringe, is skilfully enhanced to performance-piece level.

An interesting way to approach issues of gender, sexuality and feminism, and Glass Moon could be on to a winner.

Peter Collington puts on a good show as all of the male characters. He differentiates between the roles well and is entirely believable when playing the different parts. There is a slightly clumsy sex-scene with some under-under pants, but, barring nudity, which it seems Collington isn’t willing to do, I can’t see how it could be better staged. His work on the misogynist punter and his nicer counterpart are particularly strong – it’s easy to be taken along with his various character’s stories.

Joelle Montoya plays the hard-nosed club manager with ease, yet her compassionate side is shown with good, solid acting in a lovely scene without over-egging it. Kate Novak’s has the joy of leaving the club more than most, which helps alleviate some of the venue’s claustrophobia, though, with problems at home, this is not necessarily in the best interest of the character. She handles the dichotomies of this role very well, developing the character strongly and we very much build up empathy for her by the end of the show.

It is Ruth Tinker who shines in the role of the beautiful veteran dancer of the club. We are completely taken in to the intertwined character’s stories, thanks to these actors’ strong work. Tinker doesn’t let her good looks do the work of the role – she is consistently truthful and generous to her fellow actors.

It is an interesting way to approach issues of gender, sexuality and feminism, and Glass Moon could be on to a winner. The atmosphere was certainly summoned up well. It falls down through no glaringly obvious faults, and certainly not through any fault of the actors, but perhaps could be enhanced with more pace, urgency and some sort of further script development. As such it would be interesting to see what this company comes up with next.

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The Blurb

The Sacred Obscene is an original play by Glass Moon Theatre Company. Set in a London strip club, it journeys through the lives of the five women working in The Fantasy Room. We explore their individual hardships, struggles and triumphs and follow them through their personal journeys to strength and empowerment. The Sacred Obscene looks at the restraints on both male and female sexuality in society, questioning the modern perceptions of it and unearthing the power that lies beneath.