Jess Love is Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl


A sex worker and a queer carnie meet at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Jess Love’s new solo work Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl, appearing at Fringe World this year. Love uses her incredible circus skills previously featured in the Fringe World favourite La Soiree to tell the story of discovering her convict ancestry and a transformative connection to her great-great-great-great-grandmother. Love caught up with OUTinPerth to have a chat about the show.

Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl seems to explore some very intimate content – does this draw from personal experience?

Yes, very much so. The show is completely autobiographical. I tell the most intimate experiences of my life, some very funny, some very dark and some sad. The show delves deep into my soul, my obsessions and my past.

You’ve performed in some high intensity shows in the past, like La Soiree. How do you incorporate your circus training to a performance like this?

That is harder to explain! I am a theatre maker and a performance artist but I am also an acrobat. It is who I am and how I identify, just like being queer or bi-sexual is. So it is actually almost impossible for me to make work without using the circus skills I have. For an explanation of how they are woven throughout the show well, you’ll just have to come and see for yourself.

There are over 100+ shows that we found in the Fringe guide that feature openly LGBTIQ+ artists – do you think there is an affinity between our community and these festivals?

Of course there is! You can’t turn a corner in a theatre festival without bumping into one of us… we’re everywhere, like a rainbow plague. As the brilliant Gerry Connolly explains while addressing an audience as The Queen; “Queens have always patronised the arts and the arts have always relied on the support of queens.”

You explore your family history in the show, how have new discoveries shaped the work?

Everything shapes my work and I started writing this show in 2011 so that was quite a journey of discovery. Not only for the show but for me personally. I married my girlfriend, I divorced my wife, I was diagnosed with a mental illness, I went into remission from the illness, I moved to the other side of the world, I lost family, I gained friends, I took way too many drugs and I ended up sober. I found my convict ancestry and I finally felt like I belonged.

What Perth Fringe World Festival shows are you looking forward to?

December has left me a little exhausted and I haven’t really had a chance to explore the program but I am definitely looking forward to The Little Death Club, because I’m in it and I get to take my clothes off onstage and I love doing that so….

Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl will be at the Black Flamingo in Fringe World’s Pleasure Garden from January 31st to February 4th. Tickets available from

Image:- Tom Russell

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