The Young Vic prides itself on showcasing young talent – in writing, production and acting. Until 4 March there is a piece of work showing there that is, in turn, distressing, hilarious, life affirming and in some ways life changing.
See Me Now focuses on a group of sex workers and their journey into what can be a very dangerous and isolating profession. What makes this play such an incredible piece of theatre, is that it’s really not theatre at all. The stars of this show are not actors; they are real people telling their real stories of a life that in some cases was forced upon them, and which led them to drug addiction and separation from their families, to a life of forgotten self worth and lost dreams.
What makes this play so effective is that the cast’s stories are real and their emotions so incredibly raw; if you ever felt you could judge someone for working within the sex industry, this play will rid you of your prejudices.
The cast comprises of ten hugely endearing people. Like all public service workers, sex workers come in many shapes and sizes and cater to many different clients: from Flint, the high class cultured gigolo; to Jane, who became a sex worker in her 20s in order to fund her spiralling drug problem.
This isn’t a ‘pretty’ piece of theatre and there are some genuinely shocking and heartbreaking moments, but if Governess Elizabeth can find humour in her day job and Dee can find it within herself to bring everyone to their feet by singing a song of hope, this is a very important piece of work that brings a face and a personality to those who have been marginalised within our society.
The set is simple yet effective, bringing to mind the red light area and revolving doors of Amsterdam, and the cast handle the choreography and props well within this setting. Dealing bravely with issues of being brought to London to work as a prostitute by sex traffickers, to the abuse that many transexuals face while working as prostitutes to pay for gender reassignment surgery and also the heartbreaking frailty of an emotionally damaged girl forced to work within the sex industry, you may think this to be a play that will break you, but it will make you laugh, cry and think. An absolute must see.