When Alexis Gregory meets Jonny Woo for a Sex/Crime situation

Following a critically acclaimed, sell-out run in East London ‘Sex/Crime’ was transferred to Soho Theatre. This exciting, challenging, controversial play written by and starring Alexis Gregory, co-starring with the legend of London’s LGBTQ+ night scene Johnny Woo, explores sex, violence, language, fear and queerness.

Portrait by Charles Moriarty

‘Sex/Crime’  is a dark comic queer thriller. In a fractured and divided city, two men; ‘A’ and ‘B’, meet to recreate the killings of a famous gay serial killer; for their own pleasure…and the right price.

“Everything else is tumbling down
Falling apart
But not you and me
You and me are going to hold tight
You and me are just right”

‘Sex/Crime’ is written by playwright and performer Alexis Gregory whose recent self- performed slow show ‘Riot Act’ played to great acclaim in the West End, Arcola Theatre and on a UK tour. It heads out on another UK tour in February 2020. Gregory acts in the piece opposite celebrated alternative drag legend Jonny Woo in a rare acting role.

Photo by Matt Spike

How does it feel to be the director and one of the protagonists of the play at the same time?

Writing and acting ion my own play is intense of course but theatre is a collaborative effort and I have a great team around me working hard to convey the plays message, including my co-actor Jonny Woo, director Robert Chevara and the whole behind the scenes team. We got this!

How did you come up with the idea of this play?

I wanted to explore the the theme of gay serial killers. I was of course aware of some of the historic ‘issues’ in doing so, mostly on screen, and I also wanted to subvert the storyline and not make it about the killer himself, but about his fans and admirers. The serial killer theme is also a springboard to explore so many other experiences and topics relating to, a certain, urban queer existence too.

How is it to work with of the legends of London LGBTQ+ scene, Jonny Woo?

Jonny is of course fabulous to work with and has been involved with the play from the start, providing a space for ‘Sex/Crime’s first three week run at The Glory. In fact I wrote the play for The Glory. As well as being a drag queen extraordinaire, Jonny is a stunning actor and is astonishing audiences night after night.

What made you choose Jonny Woo for your co-protagonist?

Jonny chose me in fact ha ha. Originally Jonny was going to direct and even though I sometimes act in my own plays, I wasn’t going to be in this one. It was Jonny’s idea that we both act in it and that’s when I brought in Robert to direct and he has bene greta and pushed the play to the next level. I have known Jonny over many years and always admired his creative vision, drive and commitment to constantly moving forward as an artist.

The story is dark, but it is also about connection and intimacy. What is the deep message behind it?

People have to come and see the play to find out; of course!

What are your biggest references and where did you find your inspiration?

‘Sex/Crime’ is inspired by Gregg Arakki, the 1990’s ‘In Ya Face’ theatre movement and of course some recent real-life cases that have made news headlines. I spoke to some police officers who worked on some of those cases and they gave me a lot of information that isn’t in the public domain, which also influenced my writing.

How has the audience reacted to your play?

We’ve had great audiences who have been willing to go on this ride with us and absorb themselves in the extreme world we create on stage. ‘Sex/Crime’ is a dark comedy and they have laughed, and gasped, along with us.

What are your future plans?

As soon as ‘Sex/Crime’ finishes I tour my solo theatre piece, ‘Riot Act’, across the UK, for February’s LGBT History Month. I have one London date at the Turbine Theatre on February 16th. I’m also at Epstein Theatre (Liverpool), Harrogate Theatre, Bradford Playhouse, Torch Theatre (Wales), Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, Theatre By The Lake (Lake District), Live Theatre (Newcastle), Cast Theatre (Doncaster) and South Hill Park Arts Centre. Then when that is done, I have several new plays to write, of which I am way behind on! Oh, I’m also trying to fit in a little break too.

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