• Amy Toledano

Work Bitch presented by Jessica Siân

What is it?

The story of a South African woman and her experience of growing up working in the service industry in her hometown as well as in London.

What's it all about?

Jessica Siân plays a young South African woman who has spent the last 18 years of her life working her side hustle as a waitress. In this self written show, Siân describes her work starting at age 15, in a small cafe owned by her Auntie in a run down shopping centre. She moves us through her many different jobs and the people that come and go with them. From the catering company she works for at age 17, to the pubs, fine dining restaurants and take away shops of London that she sweats and slogs her way through as an adult. Siân finds herself never being able to do anything else, becoming stuck in the endless cycle of work and tips and customers that weighs her down and keeps her where she is. The show brings her up to her present moment, where she finds herself making a decision that may change the course of her life forever.

How did it make me feel?

This show will hit a nerve for anyone who slaves their way through their side hustle more than they would like to. The characterisation and language is clever and concise, and Siân has such a likeable manner that it is impossible not be feel immersed in her world. Her experience of feeling like an outsider in an unknown place is so relatable, and will appeal to those of us who has moved to UK to make something of ourselves. The layered ideologies are intricate and her honest experiences about growing up white in post-apartheid South Africa are uncompromisingly truthful.

Siân is very engaging and the tension in her builds and builds right up until the final moments of the play in a way that is both satisfying and uncomfortable at the same time.

Anything Else?

Work Bitch is brilliant because it does not find humour in the poor treatment of people in the hospitality and service industries but instead embraces the anger and rage that is entitled to a woman made to feel invisible and insignificant in a lonely city.

Amy x

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