Queer Contact 2015, Contact Theatre Manchester
This performance has now closed, for more information on these artists, keep up to date at: www.rosanacade.com
Within minutes of the audience entering the cabaret style space playing host to Sister, Amy and Rosana Cade are dancing intimately to a male and female audience member (respectively) as they wear red wigs and perform a slow strip tease, from this they slide seamlessly in to an hour of storytelling. They speak apart and together, of themselves and of each other, speech intersected by old family films. It’s wild and whacky, and you can’t really fault it owing to its sincere and heartfelt honesty. It’s neither sad nor inappropriate, which is worth celebrating as there are childhood videos and full frontal nudity.
Their bodies become their tools to tell their stories; sometimes used to be sexy, but often not and Amy and Rosana are in charge. The image of Rosana stomping around the stage wearing only a pair of black DMs in a display of frustration or anger or both, is one that sticks, unsettles and remains vivid in my mind.
It’s a great triumph and explores sex, feminism and female sexuality; Amy is a sex worker, Rosana is a lesbian and they’ve decided to make a show based on these truths. We are invited to take a look at the sex-industry through the Amy’s eyes, she’s lived it, earned a living from it and had a positive experience doing so. The new wave of feminism that now places emphasis on the importance on women being able to choose to work in the sex industry without disapproval or needing to be being ‘saved’, is of course fair, but can be concerning if it shouts down the voices of the women that aren’t working there by choice and aren’t working safely within the industry. However, this then also, for me raises the question that when one voice speaks up from a minority group, should they be expected by audiences or listeners to represent the entire group? This seems a little unfair, when they of course should be entitled to share their personal experience, whatever that may be. Either way, Amy touched very briefly on the fact that she worked safely, was aware of her privilege, and noted the danger for other women working in the sex-industry under far less fortunate conditions. There’s also a lot of emphasis on choice in this piece, which supports this.
Rosana’s speech ‘I choose…’ was without a doubt my most perception altering experience at the theatre so far this year. She invited me to think about what I choose and what I don’t choose and how I respond to the things that are out of control in my life. I wanted to hear more of Rosana’s voice, as Amy took much of the dialogue throughout the show, but I had an equal interest in both women’s voices.
I left feeling neither emotionally drained, or jubilantly happy, but quietly uplifted in a steady and lasting way, one that lingers for longer than just the tram ride home. This show may not be for everyone, but I anticipate it may be more for you than you think it will be at first glance.
(C) Amie Taylor 2015