Brighton Pride celebrated its 30th anniversary in August. And we all had a good time on the street, in the park, and along the seafront. It’s surely close to being a mainstream event these days. But there are still plenty of rainbows to paint – and walls to knock down.
So we were pleased to talk with local performance artist, Sasha Danswan, who will be exploring asexuality in her forthcoming production of ‘ACE’ in Brighton during October. Asexuality can refer to an absence of, or low desire for, sexual activity but can also be seen as a type of sexual orientation.
Sasha sees the performance of ACE as an “exploration of asexuality, intimacy, heteronormativity and misogyny.” This is a solo performance and it is definitely not proscenium arch theatre. So, get ready for moving in – and around – the performance space.
Sasha came from Australia to the UK four years ago to study drama and theatre at Sussex University. But she always felt drawn to performance theatre which has often remained outside the mainstream.
On a recent trip back to Oz, a bout of Covid gave her plenty of time to reflect on experiences where, as a younger person, she had valued men as much more important than herself. Sex was based on a male-dominated idea involving pain and perhaps violence. She became very interested in poetry – or even just words on a page – and this has been an important stimulus for the development of ‘ACE’.
The performance consists of a voiceover, broke into sections, delivering thoughts and insights on a series of different relationships. At the same time, Sasha offers a series of sex positions and raises questions about how uncomfortable, painful, horrifying or intimate these may be. In this way, the performer welcomes the audience, like a tour guide through various episodes.
Do note that this performance explores sensitive adult themes. The ‘ACE’ team advise that there will be references to “misogyny, queerphobia, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexism” and it will contain partial nudity.
‘ACE’ takes place at The Actors (formerly the Marlborough), 4 Prince’s Street, Kemptown, 7.30pm on the 6th-8th October. Tickets available here.
Photos by Immie Burt