The VAULT Festival is coming to town! From January 24th to March 18th, over three hundred new shows explode across a festival of festivals in their Waterloo home. With new venues, new bars, new food and plenty of surprises, VAULT 2018 is the biggest, fairest platform in London for artists to present innovative, daring work. Here we had a chat with Joana Nastari about the challenges behind her piece Fuck You Pay Me
Discovering how to engage the audience in this topic without losing authenticity is a challenge, but an extremely worthwhile one. I am very keen to continue to experiment in front of audiences with this fusion of form and material to de-stigmatise an industry that urgently needs it. Laws and public misinformation is putting lives at risk, and something other than a “juicy tell-all memoir” needs to be in the cultural zeitgeist. This is it.
The original inspiration for this show came from the drums in Mad Max Fury Road. I was sat in the cinema and the drums in that movie gave me a feeling that I describe as “drums in your belly” and I had them in my belly for a full week after seeing that movie. That feeling was something I would never forget.
In my life before I had personal contact with sex work, sex workers and strip clubs. I had this inherited notion that it was an industry that was full of desperate, sad, depraved people. And when I arrived there I had my mind blown. I met goddesses, healers, divinity. I had a spiritual awakening I couldn’t not talk about it in a public forum.
In my experience, strippers use skills which are the closest thing to magic I have ever seen; high priestesses tapping into the spiritual realms. These women give me drums in my belly and that’s what I would like to put on stage – something which celebrates the fury of divine feminine magic.
Even within social groups, there is still no topic that divides people like sex work does. I think this is because there’s so much to unpick in our cultural and social relationships to both sex and work. People either want to hear a scandalous tell-all about ‘happy hookers’ or a tragedy-porn sob story. I am here to give you neither and both. I want my show to transcend these binary preconceptions about sex work and keep the audience on their toes. Fuck You Pay Me dismantles what a play about strippers ‘should’ be.” I want the audience to experience a nuanced and complex glimpse into the world of flashing your gash for cash.
I’m excited to lure people in to the dungeon (the pit) at Vault Festival and frighten, entertain and arouse them.
Fuck You Pay Me is on at the VAULT Festival from the 24th-28th of January at 21:15. Tickets and more information can be found here.