Search

Sex Workers’ Opera opens in Hackney

PUBLISHED: 08:51 29 May 2014

The cast of The Sex Workers' Opera

The cast of The Sex Workers' Opera

Archant

Street corner prostitutes, high class escorts, web cam workers and porn stars have all helped write an opera which some of them will perform in Hackney tonight.

The Sex Workers’ Opera, which will be staged at The Courtyard Theatre, has been devised through a series of community workshops backed by the Royal Opera House.

At least half of the opera’s performers are sex workers but to ensure anonymity for all those who do not want to be “outed” in the media, the whole cast has promised not to keep schtum over whether they’re employed in the industry or not.

Those who don’t wish to be identified will use disguises, such as masks.

Co-director Siobhan Knox said there had been many depictions of sex workers in art and the media, but they rarely came from the perspective of the workers themselves.

“It’s not the first time an opera has been about a sex worker, but they tend to be one-sided, moralising tales, usually with the sex worker dying in the end,” she said.

“In the media we only hear about the happy hookers, the glam sex workers who are very happy with their job or the poor trafficked worker who’s been forced into doing the job.

“What we are interested in exposing to the general public are all the shades in between and those for whom it is just a job which can provide a flexible income.”

Along with co-director Alex Etchart, Ms Knox put a global call-out for stories, and has included tales from Argentina, Chile, Taiwan and the US along with those sent in from the UK.

Mr Etchart said: “We can’t say there’s one fundamental experience of sex work, but there’s a common theme that it’s misrepresented in the media, and how they want to change that presentation, and not have to hide it from family and friends.

“People are starting to see beyond the black and white, and hopefully sex work might be recognised as an actual valid form of work.

“The monetisation of our sexuality is allowed in mainstream media through music videos, but suddenly the moment there’s a client and worker it suddenly becomes taboo.”

The show will be staged at the theatre in Pitfield Street at 8pm tonight. Tickets cost £15 or £10 for concessions. For more information visit sexworkersopera.com.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney News Stories

33 minutes ago

A whole festival dedicated to the humble sandwich takes place in London Fields next month.

13:42

A man in his 30s is in hospital after being stabbed in Queensbridge Road early this morning.

07:38

Hackney Police need help finding an elderly man missing from Stoke Newington.

Yesterday, 17:41

Bank Holiday plans were ruined for dozens of people in Stamford Hill when both lifts in their 15-storey council block broke – leaving them stuck for two days.

Yesterday, 16:19

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to Ed Mason from The Five Points Brewing Company, which has collaborated with Field Day to produce a special beer for the Victoria Park festival in June.

Yesterday, 15:36

Diane Abbott has said Theresa May’s “lacklustre” Brexit strategy will help Labour oust the Tories in next month’s General Election.

Yesterday, 15:07

Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit could cost the Labour party seats in Hackney, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Yesterday, 12:23

A bereaved daughter is desperately trying to trace a stolen iPhone which had “precious” photos of the last holiday she spent with her late mother - which was last traced to Hackney.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Hackney Half Marathon takes place on April 30, and the Gazette has two pairs of free tickets to give away.