American writer and comic Kaytlin Bailey draws interesting parallels between her late father’s experience in the military, her experience in sex work, and the experience of women and sex workers throughout history, dating back to Adam and Eve.

The sex worker rights advocate and host of The Oldest Profession podcast has examined the societal attitudes towards both hers and her father’s professions, and asks why her father killing people and being left with serious trauma was so accepted, and her choosing to make money through sex was not.

The jumping between ancient history, Bailey’s own sexual experiences, and her father’s military life is surprisingly successful in Whore’s Eye View. Comparisons between church-owned brothels and modern-day chatrooms draw in the audience as we learn about sex work in today’s society, and the importance of proper regulation of the profession.

While Bailey shares some interesting information – including regarding the significant impact sex work has had on society – the comedy aspect of the show unfortunately falls flat in many places, coming across as overly scripted.

Audience interaction on this night felt awkward, as Bailey continually returned to the same section of the front row, using punchlines obviously written to bounce off viewer reactions which were expected but had not occurred. The show is also clearly written with American audiences in mind, with references to topics that don’t resonate with a local crowd.

Whore’s Eye View is recommended for anyone keen to learn more about the role women (and not only sex workers) played in a range of historical events. Some of Bailey’s jokes about her own experiences were well received, but it’s in the lecture and personal storytelling aspects, rather than comedy, where the show works best.

Whore’s Eye View is playing across The Garage International at Adelaide Town Hall, The Warehouse Theatre, and Nexus Arts Venue until March 14. 

Read more 2024 Adelaide Fringe coverage here on InReview.

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