The show continues in this format: weird customer, changing room chat, weird customer - which I imagine is an accurate portrayal of how a shift goes. However I would have loved to see a little bit more variation, some slower moments to see the physical toll of the job to perhaps have some moments of stillness peppered in amongst the chaos.
Temple is a natural. She jumps between characters with ease, changing into costumes and characters we’ve all met at least once while still maintaining the high energy she started with. Not only that, it’s clear she’s having fun being there, which is something I value so much onstage. Between playing the ‘not like other guys’ club attendee and the hen’s party bridezilla, we get to see her as herself in the changing room, where I feel she really shines. Temple tells us about the job as it is; the mistreatment from other women; the fact that your dad, uncle, brother attends regularly, and the abhorrent mistreatment they receive from the clubs.
With some further development, I think this script could be a wonderful blend of chaotic and heartfelt to keep that hilarity of the bad customers, and to highlight the humanity, the highs and lows of a job that people know so little about. Equally though, I understand this approach of sticking with comedy. Sex work tends to be discussed in hushed tones, the horror stories are constantly brought up and so many people only understand this industry based on the media they consume, which usually doesn’t favour sex work very highly. We need more stories about and from sex workers, otherwise the only voices we have are the police and sensationalised documentaries (I’m looking at you, Netflix).
Theatre that shines light in places that are often left in the dark is so important. I hope the team continues to refine this script and performance - and I’d LOVE to see it in a strip club - but I imagine the logistics are a nightmare. In light of the recent Calender Girls debacle (Calendar Girls dancers take employment campaign to Parliament), Just the Tip is more relevant than ever, so whether you’re a ‘civilian’ (as they lovingly call non-strippers) or you’ve been in the industry for years, you should absolutely see this show.
Just the Tip is on at Ivy Bar until 25th February.