/ Katie Mitchell’s La Maladie de la Mort (2018)

A Woman is offered a large sum of money to come, every night, to the hotel room, so that a Man can ‘know her body, know how to love’ – as if bodies and love are the same thing.

She accepts the job. Over the next nights, the Woman is scolded for speaking while the Man photographs and films her on his phone. He masturbates to pornography before sleeping between her legs. Twice, he attacks her, attempting to smother her face with a pillow.

Katie Mitchell asks “What it is like to be the victim of that type of man?” As sex work has one of the highest rates of occupational homicide, the answer to that question could easily be “dead.

Katie Mitchell & Alice Birch’s La Maladie de la mort is the “the story of a man who can’t love.” The Man can’t, or hasn’t, loved, never. As if this is a valid explanation for his whining, his apathetic controlling, his violence. What about being the story of a woman? The story of a sex worker and a self-obsessed, apathetic, violent client?