Both Chloe Mantripp’s show, and the apparatus on which she performs it, defy categorisation.
The set looks like a medieval torture device, a shower stall-cum-climbing frame made of scaffolding set in the middle of a children’s paddling pool. Real water dribbles out of the shower leaving Mantripp to clamber and somersault over the odd structure with slippery wet feet. It wobbles, and the uncapped pole edges look sharp and genuinely dangerous.
Mantripp’s story is as precarious as her set. She’s depressed, poor and feels that parasites are invading her body. She speaks frankly about her sex work and her body, making a parallel between the personal and global, the slow death of the earth via climate change. Graphic descriptions as to how her body has been colonised and violated by the men who pay to access it are layered with discussion of how the resources of the earth have been stripped by human greed. No matter how much Mantripp showers, she just gets dirty again.
One moment Mantripp is landing sarcastic wise cracks with a condom balloon standing in for one of her elderly clients, the next she appears to be making a real cry for help.
She is never presented as a crushed victim but she goes to a very dark place in relating how it is not sex these vampiric men want to buy, but access to her beauty and youth as if they could take it for themselves.