A documentary musical play
In Germany, each day approximately 1,2 million men use the services of prostitutes. The annual turnover in the sex industry according to statistics from the union, Verdi, are around 15 billion Euros. The government estimates that there are around 400.000 sex workers and over half of these women are migrants. Why do women practice this profession? What is their working day like? What social function does this sector fulfil?
The prostitutes get to know most intimate wishes, needs and problems in their encounters. They themselves describe their work as often being therapeutic and are on the other hand, booked for appearing ‘so beautifully foreign’.
The documentary musical study of the scene, this modern service sector, which at the same time is known as ‘one of the oldest trades of the world’, is examined under Julia Roesler’s direction and Insa Rudolph’s musical direction. A theatre text has been developed based on interviews with prostitutes from across Germany which illuminates what happens in the shadows, allowing for and recounting the contradictions of the profession.
To begin with – ‘Red Light’ is an excellent theatre piece! Already the set design is terrific: a huge shop window duncked in red light, the background separated by a kind of beaded curtain. There are partly tragic fates which are nevertheless told with a laconic ease. And what is perhaps more important, the play gives a view of the huge gulf in our society. ‘Red Light’ is a great work and the audience in Göttingen thanked the players heartily with minute-long standing ovations.