BWW Review: FUCK YOU PAY ME, The Vaults
When Bea receives a text from her mum saying that they need to talk as soon as she gets home, she goes into a panic. She specifies that it's not just a scary text to receive no matter who sends it, she is afraid because her mother might have figured out that she's working as a stripper.
Written by Joana Nastari, Fuck You Pay Me is an insight into sex work with no frills nor excuses. She destroys all preconceptions and prejudice: she lies to her customers, dances naked, and earns a lot. She strays from any clichéd storylines, telling all the raunchy and uncomfortable details of the job.
From petty co-workers to sleazy men, the audience is launched into a world of fake fur, tinsel, nipple tassels, phones who talk back, and pink money. Nastari addresses her "church of women of easy virtue", describing what she does as "a profound, divine, spiritual coming together of energy".
She recalls the atmosphere of the club, mimicking the crowd and picking apart the various kinds; among dance, alcohol, and drugs, Bea all of a sudden sobers her speech and gives a glimpse of what hides behind the glittery façade.
"Hi, I'm Holly (her stage name), and there's something you don't know about me. Well, lots of things". A list of stripped-down experiences follows, and her job can be summed up by her line "I babysit grown men, a therapist in thigh highs". Nastari's prose is slick and enticing, using her words to lure in her audience, rather than Bea's body.
This doesn't deter her from giving everything she's got left in a surprising dance routine before leaving the stage blowing pink pound notes in the first rows. Bea is ready to tell her family what she does, deciding to embrace who she is and stop the lies.