WANTED: Men to explore the act of buying sex

The women behind a radical piece of theatre The Game set out their stall

Grace Dyas is a theatremaker who has been involved in various Dublin Fringe productions, photographed during the rehersals for The Game, a play about prostitution. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Grace Dyas is a theatremaker who has been involved in various Dublin Fringe productions, photographed during the rehersals for The Game, a play about prostitution. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

“By volunteering for The Game you’re saying, I’m going to do something courageous because I think these women’s stories deserve to be heard and deserve to be experienced,” says theatre maker Grace Dyas.

The Game is her latest production in collaboration with its actors, Lauren Larkin and Gemma Collins, which aims to portray the realities of prostitution. It was devised with the help of former prostitutes Rachel Moran, Mia deFaoite and others, as well as some women who are still involved in sex work.

“We tried to show the two sides in the show and also present them equally,” actor Lauren Larkin told Róisín Ingle, presenter of the Róisín Meets podcast.

The Game explores the act of buying sex – the rules, the language and the power structures. It is a play, but it is also a real-life game, with levels and consequences.

For each performance, five volunteer men join the two actors onstage. These men have never played ‘The Game’ before, they will not be given a script and they have no idea what they are about to do.

“It’s a chance to, as much as you can, walk in someone else shoes… to be able to see what these women’s experiences are like,” said Grace.

The show is being staged in Belfast, Galway and Dublin in the coming weeks and they need five different men to volunteer each night. The only requirement is that you are, “a person that’s interested in supporting women.”

A counsellor is on set each night to speak to the men after the performance has finished. Grace and Lauren admit the volunteers are put through the ringer but they understand the importance of being part of an attempt to make people talk about an uncomfortable subject.

“We meet them at the end and get a group picture together. They always say thank you for showing me that. I think that’s really special, that men and women can work together to tell that story,” said Lauren.

If you are a man who wants to volunteer for an upcoming performance of The Game, you can contact them at weneedmen2017@gmail.com

You can catch The Game on April 1st at The Mac in Belfast, April 5th at Town Hall Theatre in Galway, April 8th at Draíocht in Blanchardstown, Dublin and for on 13th & 14th April at The Project Arts Theatre in Dublin.

To listen to the full conversation between Grace Dyas, Lauren Larkin and Róisín Ingle, go to iTunes, irishtimes.com/podcasts, or your preferred podcast app.

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