Craig Scott cops an eyeful at Hannah Chalmers’ scintillating solo show
IT has been dubbed “The wittiest and most thought-provoking show about stripping in years,” or words to that effect, by nearly every broadsheet in Britain.
The others have dismissed it as a clichéd rehashing of a familiar story… you know… the one where the ‘good girl’ gets chewed up and spat out by the callous sex industry.
Stripped is a sharp, funny and poignant one-woman show- inspired by Hannah Chalmers’ real-life encounters with odious sex club owners, bitchy strippers, manipulative Madams, and kerb-crawling toffs.
The Spanish leg of the tour was billed by its producer – Xaviera Hollander (of Happy Hooker-fame) as an emotional rollercoaster – capable of making its audience “laugh”, “cry” and “cringe”. To be fair, that’s not much of an overstatement. Chalmers’ impeccable acting skills, combined with her wicked gallows humour, make Stripped 6-inch heels above anything else on the Costa del Sol circuit.
Stripped offers Marbella’s Gucci-clad yuppies a voyeuristic peek into a seamy underbelly. Forget Ferraris and yachts in the marina, this is a world of crushing poverty and cheap, slum-fest sex. Some seemed moved, others looked smug – ALL were captivated.
Sporting pigtails and “naughty schoolgirl” garb, Chalmers, 26, shifts effortlessly through a stream of eccentric characters. From “Baby”, the Bambi-eyed newcomer – to a ball-breaking Russian dominatrix, she is convincing, compelling and thoroughly watchable.
Lured by the promise of fast cash and liberation, Baby discovers that a lapdancer’s lifestyle is rarely exotic or empowering. Instead, her story exposes the exploitative nature of ‘gentlemen’s clubs,’ as well as highlighting the damage inflicted on those who work there.
Nothing is sugar-coated and nothing is condemned, Chalmers simply lifts the lid….as well as her mini-skirt.