Philobiblon: Sex tourism and blank verse

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sex tourism and blank verse

In a production of Shakepeare that gets the delivery right, the language itself is magical, fantasmagorical. As a member of the audience you can just sit and let the flow of words reach deep inside, to tug at the core of your being.

That's what you expect when you go to see a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and that's what you get with Trade, one of the plays of its "New Work" season, which has just arrived at the Soho Theatre in London. It is just that the topic -- women sex tourists -- might be not quite what you are expecting.

This is the dialogue of a rap song, turned to blank verse. The characters pick up each others' words and bounce them off each other in a rapid-fire song that is music without tune. The writer, Debbie Tucker Green, will definitely be someone to watch.

The scene is a stretch of perfect white sand - just like the brochures - and it opens with three bored women - the kind of "massage, hair-breading, jewelry-sellers" you've seen on beaches from Vietnam to The Gambia. Jets roar overhead, money jingles, but none of it is going to them. READ MORE


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