“This young theatre company is the real thing”
– The Scotsman ****
“The talent of Burton, Frati and McErlane combined with the work of director Watt and writer Stuart makes for an unforgettable, emotional and extremely important production”
– Edfringe ****
"The performances are brilliant. The audience cares deeply as we watch these three women try to hang on to their humanity while dreaming of escape"
– The Scotsman ****
Every city has a dark little secret, a shifty place in the shadows where sex, drugs, prev’s, pimps and prossy’s can’t be missed. The Point follows three of the local sex workers Cindy, Chargo and Amber through their past, present, future, hopes and fears that come with being a part of the oldest profession on Earth. This story celebrates these women’s toughness in a grim world while showing unflinchingly the realities of such a profession.
The Point was originally developed for an end of year production at Glasgow Kelvin College. Written by John Stuart but with massive input and feedback with the cast of Rebecca Burton, Jennifer McErlane and Kimberly Robb, since then the show has been lucky enough to have further development and input from Dionne Frati, Ciara Webb and Mhari Watt.
The Point was supposed to premiere at The Arches Theatre in June 2015 but five days before our opening night The Arches sadly went into administration causing all shows to be canceled. We then decided that it would be best to have the official premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the show ran from 15th – 20th August 2016 at Surgeons Hall with TheSapceUK, below, you can read the reviews of our run.
The Scotsman Review
By Claire Smith
It’s set in Glasgow – but it could be anywhere. This tale of three sex workers is designed to be universal. Written by producer and filmmaker John Stuart, the work had lots of input from its mega-talented cast of Rebecca Burton, Jennifer McErlane and Dionne Frati. It began life as a monologue, written for Burton, who was sick of being cast as a middle-class woman. She was joined by McErlane and Frati, who helped build the piece into a play. The Point was destined to premiere at The Arches in Glasgow just as the venue closed down. Stuart is so modest about his work you can hardly find his name on the programme – but this is a fantastic production, written in a way which captures the poetic rhythms of working-class Glaswegian and Northern Irish speech. The play tells the stories of three sex workers, sharing instant coffee and chats in between the punters as they work The Point. Cindy is heavily into drugs but dreams of earning enough to get out and get away. Chargo, who’s Northern Irish, is the youngest, the pickpocket princess, who still believes she’s different. Finally, there’s Amber – the nurturing heart of the group – who’s known for being kind to her customers and to the other women who come and go on The Point.
Cindy, Chargo and Amber are rounded and sympathetic characters and stories of their dealings with men, pimps and punters are told very much from the female perspective. The performances are brilliant. The audience cares deeply as we watch these three women try to hang on to their humanity while dreaming of escape. There is a strong central narrative which makes us wonder which, if any, of these women, will get away and find a better life. This young theatre company is the real thing. They deserve to be getting full houses. Go see.
By Zoe Bowman
I Know A Guy Productions' performance of 'The Point' by John Stuart offers the audience a look into the lives of three prostitutes living and working in Glasgow. The performance begins with Cindy (Rebecca Burton), Amber (Dionne Frati) and Chargo (Jennifer McErlane) sauntering confidently onto the stage with indisputable presence and power. What follows is a devastating insight into the world of prostitution, as the initial vigour and confidence in all three characters dwindles. What is left is a performance guaranteed to have an impact on audiences.
To begin with, we are given a short background of each character. We are presented with Cindy, a seemingly cold-hearted woman whom Burton brings to life with a mixture of crude comic delivery and heartbreaking emotion. As Amber, Frati successfully portrays the troubled mother figure of the trio, intent on sheltering the young Chargo from the perils of prostitution. Whilst Stuart should be commended for his in-depth characterization of all three of these individuals, it is McErlane's portrayal that stands out in this production. As the young and naive Chargo, she takes the audience on a whirlwind of emotion with a depiction of the "pavement princess" that is very difficult to put behind you. As a group, these three deliver a collective performance that is both fervent and emotive.
The audio and visual aspects of 'The Point' are used to great effect; both the style of music played and the costumes worn by the characters create a distinct eighties feel to the performance. In a less superficial sense, these vibrant features do much more by creating contrast within the performance; the upbeat pop music and colourful outfits provide a conflicting backdrop to the themes of drug use and violence, drawing light to idea that we, as a society, fail to understand the full extent of the complexity of prostitution.
If you're looking for a comedy show at the Fringe this summer, then perhaps 'The Point' is not for you. Whilst in the beginning our three heroines appear to have both quick wits and sharp senses of humour, we soon learn the complex nature of their lives beneath their own exteriors. The talent of Burton, Frati and McErlane combined with the work of director Watt and writer Stuart makes for an unforgettable, emotional and extremely important production.
Edfringe Review 2
By Nina Klaff
The Waitresses’ catchy ‘I Know What Boys Like’ clearly places this depiction of the lives of three sex workers in the 1980s. The characters describe turning tricks at ‘The Point’ in unconventional water-cooler conversations, soliloquies, and asides. They strut and pose on a versatile black stage to the tune, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with them like a title sequence of a cheesy TV show. The friendship between Chargo, Amber, and Cindy is an examination of prostitution dealing in synecdoches and stereotypes. Their costumes are obvious - perhaps unnecessarily so – signals of their profession, in a predictability that is one of the only shortcomings of the production.
Rebecca Burton’s Cindy, a hardened yet subtly soft drug addict with a troubled childhood, is irresistibly loveable and infinitely wise. She blames drugs for her pallid and sullen appearance, dubbing smack "the best pimp in the world" in just one of many memorable cutting lines of the play. John Stuart’s writing is remarkably strong if a little clichéd, reminding us that "it’s a cold world and you have to learn how to keep warm." Burton’s delivery is outstanding: deadened eyes pierce straight through all of us as she hunches and shrugs her way through her monologue in a natural, yet accurately characterised way, unwaveringly defiant as she promises to quit it all by the first of January 1990.
Chargo, a clean seventeen-year-old, is just starting out, presenting us with a different, albeit connected, facet of the oldest profession in the world. Jennifer McErlane’s portrayal is unsettlingly realistic: from gyrating against a table and turning a trick, to throwing herself on the ground as she recounts being beaten by her beloved Franco, her performance is harrowing. Her faultless Irish accent is undeterred even by badly stifled heckling from the back row.
Dionne Frati’s Amber negotiates between Cindy’s resistance andChargo’s naivety as a warm maternal figure, whose caring and loving nature unwittingly does more harm than good. Their consistent blaming of men for all that is wrong is at times a little forced, perhaps in an attempt to justify the gender of an all-male production team. However, this is redeemed by the heartbreakingly cold atmosphere, created by the women as they swig from half-empty bottles of Frosty Jack's.
'The Point' condemns the sad dynamic of a world in which – if you'll excuse the paraphrasing - people are created to be loved, things are created to be used, but things are being loved and people being used. Fiery protagonists and a heart-wrenching message warm this icy criticism of capitalism and the human condition.