Theatre review: Traumgirl, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Traumgirl is part of a pair of shows - Traumgirl and Traumboy- exploring what it means to be both an artist and a sex worker.

Traumgirl, Summerhall (Venue 26)

Traumgirl, Summerhall, Edinburgh * *

Presented in Edinburgh as part of the Swiss Selection programme, the show features its creator Anne Welenc as a woman called Kim, who works as a bar-tender, an actress and a sex worker, and seeks to challenge the assumption that selling sex is, by definition, a more shameful and dangerous business than selling beer, or other acting skills - because for Kim, sex work is clearly a form of performance, involving a dramatic series of wig and costume changes as she assumes the various personas that attract male customers to lap-dancing clubs, or to the brothel where she works two days a week.

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The show is partly a linear narrative of how Kim’s life brought her to this point, partly a question-and-answer session in which she seeks to dispel myths about her job, and partly a kind of erotic installation process in which she films her body from various angles for projection on a large screen, muses on her costumes, changes her look. Either way, though, it’s an unconvincing business. The writing is flat-footed, the pace funereal, the atmosphere vaguely voyeuristic; and the idea that performing intimate acts of love with complete strangers is somehow analogous to playing a theatre role, or pulling a pint of beer, is poorly argued, and never fully explored.

Until 25 August