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London playwright Patrick Cash brings 'ChemSex Monologues' to Berlin

As part of the 2nd European ChemSex Forum, taking place Mar. 22-24

Patrick Cash © Holy Revell

Mar. 20, 2018 – The European ChemSex Forum first took place in London two years ago. This week, the followup is happening in Berlin at the Mercure Hotel in Moabit, with the intent of expanding on the findings gathered at the inaugural edition. The program spans three days and includes a variety of talks and panels with clinicians, therapists and people who have engaged in sexual activity while using drugs, all networking with the common goal of taking action in their respective local communities. 

Although this is an international event at a higher scale, the idea of having group conversations about chemsex isn't exactly the new. The London series "Let's Talk About Gay Sex and Drugs" has had success in its Berlin spinoff, which will take place on Thursday at Baumhaus Bar in conjunction with the ChemSex Forum. “The most important aspect for me is empathy,” says Patrick Cash, who ran the events in London. He tells SIEGESSÄULE why he thinks it’s important that we continue the discussion: “I’m absolutely not about judging anybody for their drug use, or trying to piss on anybody’s fun. But if chemsex gets dark and harmful, let’s try to understand why.” 

Cash has been exploring this subject in other ways, too – on Friday, he will be present the German premiere of the play he wrote, ChemSex Monologues. As Cash used to work for the London nightlife magazine QX, Cash has channeled his own experiences from the clubbing scene into this piece for the stage. The biggest challenge for him was making sure that it was realistic: “I wanted to give the characters both sexiness and sympathy.” When it first ran at the King’s Head about a year ago, it was met with critical acclaim from theater press. “What was surprising was that a lot of it was not from gay men. I think the fact that straight people could come and see the play and leave affected by the issues, speaks about human capacity for emotional truth. Whether the play is gay or straight, if it hits a note of raw honesty, anybody can relate.”

ChemSex Monologues will run again on Saturday evening after the conference ends, and there will be a Sunday matinee as well, followed by a writing workshop hosted by Cash. He tells SIEGESSÄULE he is also looking forward to the post-show discussions: talking about the play with the cast and how it relates to the London and Berlin scenes, joined by Dr. Martin Viehweger, who runs the Berlin edition of ‘Let’s Talk…’.

Jumping from the stage to the scene, his next move is a short web series titled The Grass is Always Grindr, about an “Insta-famous” gay guy having an affair with a closeted boxer: the trailer drops April 1 on the YouTube channel of 56 Dean Street. The show follows Patrick Cash’s spoken-word single “Hate Me”, a collaboration with DJ/producer KDA, streaming on Spotify.

Joey Hansom

European ChemSex Forum, Mar. 22-24, Mercure Hotel Moabit
Let's Talk About Sex and Drugs, Mar. 22, 19:00, Baumhaus Bar
ChemSex Monologues, Mar. 23-24, 19:00 / Mar. 25, 15:00, Wilde Oscar 



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