Take a look at what director Christa Harris had to say about her next show Freak – coming to the Space 8th â€“ 12thÂ August.
If could describe â€˜Freakâ€™ in three words what would they be?
Provocative, frank and relevant.
How is female sexuality portrayed in the play?
This is something that we have had a lot of discussion about in the rehearsal room. The way Georgie and Leah talk about sex and portray themselves is framed by male fantasy: shaven-haven, lingerie, school-girl, temptress the â€˜She-God-Little-Girl-lionessâ€™ that Georgie channels. Even in the liberation of talking about sex so frankly, these women are still choosing to become ‘what a man wants’. Their seemingly liberated decisions are still harnessed by the patriarchy, and in a â€˜sexually liberatedâ€™ generation, the play makes us ask, how free are we?
There is curiosity, naivety, exploitation, destruction and a scrupulous look at self-image. And there is also clarity, learning how to understand yourself, choosing sex for you and embracing your own sexy.
When does the human mind change its thoughts on sex?
I think this all depends on the individual. Sex isnâ€™t something we switch on when we get to a certain age, but it can be thrust upon us prematurely.
I think generally speaking, one may develop a physical and emotional foundation for sexuality from an early age, but itâ€™s usually curiosity that drives someone to act upon these impulses. It really is down to the individual: their experiences, their surrounds and their upbringing.
Why choose now to perform this work?
Simply put, I think itâ€™s subject matter is important. We live in a world where the amount of â€˜likesâ€™ we receive on a post on social media is linked to our self-worth, photo editing apps are downloaded to make one â€˜tannedâ€™ â€˜slimmerâ€™ appear to have â€˜whiter teethâ€™ or more eyelashes and particular newspapers print articles about womenâ€™s cellulite. In 2013/4 it was reported by ChildLine that there was a 15% increase in eating disorders in young people – why? We are being told from a young age to look a certain way, act a certain way and now it just so happens that the US elected a man who said â€˜you can do anythingâ€™ to a woman â€˜grab them by the pussyâ€™ is acting as a role model to the next young generation.
These are all issues, that as a company we want to tackle. Therefore, staging a play about how women are sexualised felt necessary. The stage is a platform for expression and as a female-led company, we wanted our first production to investigate something complex and real. This feels like the tip of a very big iceberg, but weâ€™ll continue to make theatre of this vein and hope to make a difference.
On a scale from 1-10, how freaky does this play get?
In terms of the dreams Georgie has, I would say it gets pretty freaky. Perhaps a 7/10. Thereâ€™s always room for more freak!
What feeling would like to leave the audience with when the lights go down?
I want men and women to feel empowered, liberated and comforted by the playsâ€™ relatability. We still treat female sexuality as a taboo, and guarded subject – it shouldnâ€™t be that way! This play makes the topic accessible, and it allows us to explore what decisions are truly ours.