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Brighton Fringe 2013

The Coin-Operated Girl

Miranda Kane

Genre: Character Stand up

Venue: The Marlborough


Low Down

 “Tell all comedy where Miranda Kane exposes the truth about sex workers, their clients and all the hilarious, heart-warming and often bizarre moments, in [as the blurb says] a unique career”


 It starts well with this telephone conversation broadcast over the PA,  between  Miranda Kane and a prospective punter, which turns out to be us the audience – and it’s a great strap-line – “the cheapest hour you are ever going to spend with a prostitute.”  Then she bounces onto the stage, huge smile, great energy, and we’re straight into the world of being a BBW (Big Beautiful Woman for those who haven’t come across the acronym before) for cash.   Kane is charismatic, loud and engaging as she takes us through the story of how she became, and then worked, as an escort for seven years.  Along the way, because as she says, you have to invest to succeed, she drags out a medium size suitcase full of sex toys and condoms, tools of the trade so to speak.

She is for real, and is entertaining and funny as well as informative – it’s obvious that the audience either doesn’t know anything about the world of escorts and internet sex, or is too afraid to appear to knowledgeable.  When she asks what we think GFE means, I’m the only one to perk up with an answer (it means Girl Friend Experience), and I get a lot of funny looks – almost want to stand up and say “It’s OK, I’m here with my wife, I’m just well-informed.”
But it is a genuinely illuminating show – there is a world of difference between streetwalking prostitution and the internet based portals that put men, mainly,  in touch with the woman of their fantasies for an hour or two – at a price.  She inhabited a niche in this market – and it is a market, it is a business – and managed to do rather well at it.  Why did she stop then? Well, see the show to find out, I don’t want to put in any spoilers that would take away from her well timed delivery.
There is a wonderful piece of research that she conducted from the thousands of emails and enquiries that she received in the course of her call girl career – a top ten of the most requested services.  This is hilarious, astonishing– there’s a sort of weird innocence in these requests where you can see that there are these are people (ok, men,) who wondered what it would be like to…[insert your sexual peccadillo here]  and then booked bbwmelody (her pseudonym)to find out. What is quite heart-warming about the show, and Kane herself, is that she unrepentantly had quite a good time (you’ll find out her favourite kind of booking) and she obviously has a welcoming and open mind and heart!  
As a demystifying of the life of a call girl it’s up there with Belle de Jour, but, I would say more interesting and more entertaining.  Kane is a good, professional and skilled raconteur.  She ended the show with a question and answer session, and it was a testament to her approachability and warmth that lots of the audience got over its fright and did ask questions, without feeling awkward at all. That was, except for the weird question from one guy – “Did you pay tax on your earnings and what was your tax code?”  but she dealt with that one with confidence and aplomb.