Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl

Under the premise of sharing at an AA meeting, Jess Love takes us through her life story and what factors have led to her downward spiral in life.

Beginning from the time she was eight, she began to wonder if her family was really her family. Her close family are all teachers involved in charitable work around the world, while she lost herself to a life of partying. She describes an intrinsic “otherness” to her life, and how she grew up feeling like an outsider.

Her rebellion started early, when she first got drunk at ten by stealing the alcohol from her parents liquor cabinet. Then she got high at thirteen-years-old, and began taking ecstasy at sixteen. As she takes us on the journey of each dangerous and rebellious act, she describes them all as the “most incredible experience of my life EVER!!!” with each new experience needing to be better than the last and the adrenaline rush that comes with trying to outdo yourself each time.

Jess tells the audience how she hit rock bottom in 2011, mostly due to the overly negative side effects of speed including hallucinations, muscle spasms, loss of sensation, and emotional turmoil, which lead to 2013 being a year of constant suicidal thoughts.

She talks about ancestry and DNA, particularly referring to genetic links to alcoholism and addiction. She mentions how genetic transfer can skip a generation or more, and takes us through a bit of her family history.

The show’s title is a reference to her great-great-great-great-grandmother, who was sent to Australia as a convict and was referred to as a “notorious strumpet and dangerous girl” in her file, and was, like Jess, an alcoholic. Her grandmother’s problems seemed to resemble her own and made her feel like she was a part of her family again

She goes through a rather impressive routine with a skipping rope, not stopping as her grandmother’s crimes and punishments are read out, as a voice over, as a means of demonstrating the constant pain and suffering.

Despite being a story about the endless cycle of addiction and self-despair, it is also a comedy featuring impressive acrobatic feats, and Jess does not shy away from very revealing amounts of nudity. It’s not a show that tries to lecture you or tell you how and where to get help if you need it. It's simply one woman’s story of what she went through and what factors may have contributed to it.

★★★★★