A feminist cabaret group which aims to “destigmatise sex work” is coming to Bristol.
Sexquisite provides a safe space for sex worker artists to showcase their talent through various art mediums.
Performances include acting, dance, pole, aerial hoop, comedy, poetry and music.
Founded by Maedb Joy, the performing arts event company offers paid creative opportunities and an alternative stream of income for sex worker artists.
Maedb grew up in Frome, near Bristol, and moved to London as a teenager, later studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
During her time there, Maedb was asked to put on a performing arts event. She decided to showcase artists who had a background in sex work and put together a feminist cabaret group consisting of sex worker artists, but encountered significant hurdles at first.
“I would often phone up venues and they would seem really interested in this idea of feminist cabaret, but when I said it was platforming sex workers so many people phoned me back saying ‘I am really sorry, but something else has come up in the diary’,” Maedb said.
Maedb attributes these initial challenges to the “stigmatisation and mystification that shrouds sex work”. She is now seeking to actively dismantle these misconceptions through Sexquisite.
Maedb eventually found a space to perform at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in London. Since then, Sexquisite has hosted a number of successful sex worker pride events and is best known for their cabaret nights within queer, night-time economies in London and Manchester.
Maedb added: “After the first ever event, I realised there was a need for community, society shames sex work so much and because of this lots of sex workers are isolated and estranged from their families and friendship circles. It’s really important we create spaces where sex workers are celebrated not stigmatised.”
Sexquisite is performing at Loco Klub on Thursday. For tickets, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sexquisite-bristol-cabaret-tickets-595159577317
Main photo: Studio Medusa
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