Jenny May Morgan on her Pamela DeMenthe alter ego
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 March 2019
Erotic fiction aimed at women is taken to new heights (or possibly depths) by Jenny May Morgan, as her alter ego Pamela DeMenthe
Jenny May Morgan’s stage character, erotic fiction writer and prolific self-publisher Pamela DeMenthe, is based on Jenny’s own experience – but not as you might currently be imagining it.
‘I had been acting for around 12 years and about five years ago started writing and performing comedy a little more regularly. At the time I was going to spoken word nights and seeing a lot of writers who were very good, but at the same time I was doing a lot of voice work for audio books, which weren’t always so good, and I got the idea to present myself as a writer who was taking myself very seriously but lacked any of the skills to actually write a book. The character just came out of me pretending I was just about to start writing novels. The darker and more erotic stuff just kind of grew out of this and Pamela DeMenthe emerged from that.’
Jenny took Pamela to open mic nights across Manchester and in 2016 to the Greater Manchester Fringe, from where she was invited to perform at the HOME re:play Festival, and at this point decided that she was ready to write her sketches out to a full show, Sticky Digits. Since then Jenny has performed at two Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and has developed quite a following in her role as Pamela.
‘I get tagged a lot on Facebook with people referring me to really bad writing. I was quite surprised in a way because I didn’t realise how much people would understand the character very quickly, which is quite a joy as it shows it takes a short amount of time for people to get on board with this character.’
e-VULVA-lution, which visits the Lowry in April, is her second show and is part of the venue’s ‘Developed With’ Artist Development Programme, which gives up and coming artists an opportunity to play to wider audience in a mainstream venue. e-VULVA-lution is a time travelling prehistoric novel set in Hull, but Pamela has writer’s block and seeks help from her loyal readers to find the right climactic ending to the story. The mind boggles, but as live entertainment I can quite understand how this can be utterly hilarious.
‘With Pamela I am coming from a place of love,’ Jenny says. ‘I don’t think erotica is a ridiculous genre, I just think what I am interested in is a character who is writing and trying to surf the wave of the 50 Shades trilogy, trying to get fame no matter what, but who also lacks the skills and ability to be able to do that. There’s some back story to Pamela; she has some personal difficulties that end up playing out in her fiction. She has quite an unhappy marriage and not a lot of sexual experience to actually draw on so within her erotic fiction it’s become a little bit of fantasy, a bit of a cry for help. She’s a bit of a tragic character really, but is a very good presenter and comes on with an air of supreme self-confidence, very Jackie Collins in her white power suits. She is convinced that what she is doing is great – even though her books don’t sell. She has self-published 28 books, haemorrhaged money, but in her own eyes is successful.’
It all sounds wonderful and a quick look at Pamela’s website triggers laughter – with book titles such as Castration in the Library: ssssssshhhhhhh!; Chorlton-cum-Hardy: a rent boy’s tale; Res-erection; and Butterfingers: after hours in the dairy, raising my eyebrows to new heights. Talk about laugh out loud moments.
‘Pamela’s shows have been described as 50 Shades of Grey meet Alan Partridge,’ Jenny says.
If I needed any more of an excuse to round up my book club and get along to see it, I can’t think what it might be.
E-vulva-lution plays at The Lowry on 4 – 5 April