Lady Lust

Lady Lust

Birmingham Rep Door

****

THE REP’s Foundry programme is a platform for theatre makers to hone their craft and create art for audiences to contemplate, engage and come together.

Writer and Performer Sarah Hamilton Baker hails from this creatively-charged group and gave her personal response to a topic that so often goes unsaid in her production of Lady Lust in Birmingham REP’s Door.

Hamilton Baker is a thirty-year-old feminist who watches porn. Hamilton talks about just that in this daring and well-rounded piece. In her one-woman show, she analyses the world of porn and modern day sex as well as telling us the impact this has to her own sex life.

Hamilton Baker is confident at talking about sex and porn and knows that this may be a somewhat taboo subject for her audience. With this, she aims to break down the embarrassing walls straight away by showing us her naked breasts without any reserve to tell us that this is the avenue we will be exploring and there is no need to be embarrassed.

Her set alludes to the typical visions of pornography. As soon as we walk into the space the smell of plastic hits us. Hamilton Baker then uses her set to back up her analytical discussion using video’s and voiceovers of what she has found on the journey projected onto flats which she moves and uses throughout the performance.

Hamilton Baker shares her own journey and reactions to the porn industry to make the audience feel lees guarded in approaching the subject. She compares her feminist views to the feelings of guilt she felt watching porn and through this, her response is to let the industry know how women can gain respect and most importantly, she wants audiences to understand that there is a mutual consent from performers.

With the helpful direction of Anna Poole, through comedic staging and a light-hearted approach, Hamilton Baker makes a compelling point. Her research shines through and discusses with us her findings, talking about the differences in the reactions with both men and women porn viewers. She even dares to ask the audience who watches porn and turns the house lights up which makes the audience laugh at their own embarrassment, especially if they could have been there with their mum, as she says.

She makes solid points about how people perceive the porn industry. She is not exclusive and she has perfected the balance between making everybody feel welcomed and most importantly, comfortable. There are brilliant comedy moments, especially when describing what it is like to observe with a cucumber as a prop. Hamilton Baker never forgets her point that the porn industry has a long way to go.

She leads an incredibly well informed and open discussion, taking everyone into consideration. She does not look down on those who watch porn or ridicule those who don’t. Her open mind is refreshing and because of this we feel comfortable in all that she says and does – including the nudity.

Not only does Hamilton Baker educate the audience so beautifully about sexuality, Hamilton Baker shares her own experience for us to analyse our own. This is a shout out to the porn industry, striving to ensure that it does not necessarily have to come with its negative connotations. It is a cultural observation and a personal journey.

Hamilton Baker a great advocate for contemporary theatre and modern feminism. The piece is about a subject that not many people would care to talk about openly and freely, but Hamilton Baker’s charm and boldness has the audience feeling elated and unrestricted. It is as if we have just made a new friend with whom we can talk about anything. To 23-01-16

Elizabeth Halpin

21-01-16 

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