Niamh Murphy’s debut play focuses on two Irish girls, Emma and Sinéad, get into a form of sex work with the expectation of making lots of money. A “cash point meet” is extorting money through consent/non-consent, and despite having a few teething problems, the story eventually heads into activism, unionism and politics.
Over a year we follow these women as they find their own place in society – with one scene which moves away from them into a Zoom meeting around problems faced by sex workers, any story from which could have its own play – and by the end, we
Produced by Obstreperous Young Ladies and starring Murphy as Emma, with Ava Hahessy Madigan as Sinead, this is an honest piece of drama with some dark comedy arcs. Moving from minimum wage jobs and employment cul de sacs to easy money, you can understand how decisions can be made to move into work like this. For many, it is a choice which allows work and family life to be balanced, or for women to gain independence or power.
Cara Bradley directs this piece, which focuses completely on the women; the men they deal with are hardly present at all. In the spirit of inclusivity, there is one male sex worker represented in the Zoom call, which is interesting, but his story is strictly peripheral to the plot of Cash Point Meet.
As a digital production, the filming choices work well and both sound and vision are sharp and clear. Murphy and Madigan are excellent in their roles, believable both in their naive bravado as they explore this new route of work, and vulnerable in their growing closeness as friends.
This is an important production which intrigues and provokes. It could develop further from 75 minutes to represent other stories and decisions, but it also stands alone quite well as it is.
Fringe rating: *** (and a half)
You can stream Cash Point Meet on the Fringe Player at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe until 30 August: book your tickets here.