“Sex workers deal with a lot of stigma and I’m worried – why don’t we value someone’s life equally?” asks actress Peta Brady, referring to St Kilda sex worker Tracy Connelly, who was murdered in July last year.
Brady, who splits her time between working as an actress and a drug and safety outreach worker in St Kilda, was commissioned to write and star in the raw and evocative theatre performance, Ugly Mugs.
Recognised for her roles in Australian drama series Neighbours, Kath and Kim, and most recently The Slap, Brady was one of the last people to see Connelly alive before she was murdered.
Combining her love of acting and writing with her important outreach work, Ugly Mugs “raises awareness about the current inequalities existing in Victoria,” Brady says.
Borrowing its title from the ‘big sister’ pamphlet that was founded by the Prostitute Collective of Victoria in 1986, Ugly Mugs emerged in response to the abusive and violent underbelly of illegal sex work in Melbourne.
“I want people to be aware that a program like Ugly Mugs exists and ask what and why is this happening, and have a discussion about the violence around misogyny.” (EC)
Jul 18-Aug 23, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $32-49, griffintheatre.com.au
BY ELISE CULLEN