Review: Bella Green is Charging For It

Bella Green doesn’t hold back in her riveting stand up answering all the questions you have about sex work, but are too afraid to ask. (Image source: Preachrs Podcast OnLine & OnStage via Adelaide Fringe).

By Helen Karakulak | @helen_karakulak

Bella Green is Charging For It is a clever and light-hearted dive into the ins, outs and other precarious positions of everyday experiences as a sex worker. Offering what some might consider outrageous anecdotes, Bella Green’s comedy achieves an insightful balance between sincerity and hilarity.

In a comedy landscape where self-deprecation so often prevails, it’s refreshing to see a charming young comic like Green deliver a show with confidence, pride and authenticity. While her storytelling is strong, the pacing of her delivery leaves much to be desired.Some punchlines land better than others, which get lost in the rapid delivery of fast-paced dialogue. Green’s rhythm is at its best when her body language demonstrates self-assured stances and effective gestures.

Accompanied on stage by a poster board presentation, Green draws the audience’s attention to the art of the screenshot, our generation’s most damning receipt. This story is puzzlingly entertaining as she explains a client interaction that isn’t what you’d expect.

Green’s stories about her career sparkle with wit as she describes her time in jobs at peep shows, brothels, sex dungeons and perhaps the most ethically questionable: a call centre. These gritty stories draw you in and laughs become less hesitant as the show progresses.

Bella Green is Charging For It is more than an hour of giggles at dirty stories. Green goes beyond, offering real insight into the nuances of sex work. Her observational comedy and subsequent commentary on stigma do more than answer the usual, salacious questions posed to those in the industry. Rather, Green makes us think about the simultaneous fascination and criticism thrust upon sex workers. She points out the double standards of working with the human body through a comparison of the medical and sex work industries that’s particularly insightful. Furthermore, she unpacks the concept of empowerment having become a buzzword in the industry, brazenly declaring that true empowerment in any industry comes from being able to purchase blueberries in the off-season.

Green’s performance doesn’t dance around taboo, it lunges face-first into the fray much like the men described in her dungeon encounters. It will leave your sex work questions answered, and your preconceptions questioned. Leave shame at the gate because this thought-provoking performance will have you in fits of laughter that might reveal a lot about you to other audience members.

Bella Green is Charging For It is running at the Lark at Gluttony until February 28 2021.

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