Devices of Torture


There are many American voters who should have been ashamed of themselves in 2016. Some of them actually were. And that provides the background to Caroline Bennett’s comedy Devices of Torture, which premiered on October 13, 2018, in a well-received production by the Skeleton Rep at the New York International Fringe Festival. I wasn’t in New York at the time, and the script isn’t available at the time of writing, so I can’t say as much about the play as I’d like. But here’s what emerges from the reviews.

It’s a play about the lives of four Manhattan dominatrixes in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.

Recent graduate Olive (Isabella Jane Schiller, in the pleated skirt on the left) applies to join their organization, La Maison, and gets the job. The first of her shower of clients likes to be showered upon, if you get my meaning, in unsavory emulation of his even less savory political hero. What emerges is that the business has gotten a boost from Trump supporters seeking professional humiliation to assuage their guilt for what their votes helped to do to their country. It seems this really happened, and the specific true story at the root of the play concerns one such reprobate who paid to be whipped by a domme dressed up as Hillary Clinton. Only in the play, it’s not whipping…

Larry arrives at La Maison, shamefully resplendent in his Make America Great Again baseball cap and asking for punishment. ‘I think you’ll find several people here willing to beat the shit out of you,’ the lesbian domme Ryan tells him. ‘Or you can walk out in that hat and get a free beating from any New Yorker who sees you.’

So be warned, Devices of Torture features an F/M spanking scene. But don’t stop reading…

The good news is that the Skeleton Rep production had a cast of four, who play all the parts, dominatrixes and clients alike. So here’s Ryan dealing with Larry, who has now shed his hat:

Top: Olivia Jampol. Bottom, in every sense: Isabella Jane Schiller. In case you should feel the need of any further evidence of her true gender, here she is rehearsing the scene:

And in case you should want to know how sound a spanking she got…

Maybe it was lucky for her the run was only five performances…

Update: …except that wasn’t the end of it! The play was so successful that it came back in 2020 for a three-week run, January 8-25. And that could only mean:

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