The Vagina Monologues
Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues returned to the Birmingham Hippodrome with a new line-up and a slightly updated collection of stories.
There was an air of excitement amongst the almost
exclusively female audience as the show opened and they were not
The show is based on interviews, carried out by Ensler, with hundreds of women of all ages from around the world. They were asked such questions as ‘if your vagina could speak what would it say? and ‘what would it wear?’ which opened up conversation with the interviewees.
The revealing responses form the basis of the
laugh out-loud (sometimes side-achingly) funny and, at times,
heart-rending monologues which are always thought-provoking.
We discover the vagina is known by a multitude of
names including coochie snorcher. The monologues
are delivered with wit; sensitively, non-judgementally and informatively
touching on topics such as lesbian love, female genital mutilation and
The staging is simple. The three talented
raconteurs, Zaraah Abrahams (Waterloo Road), Louisa Lytton (Eastenders,
The Bill) and Wendi Peters (Coronation Street) sit on high stools
facing the audience throughout.
The show is not quite all talk and no action
though, as Lytton provided a very funny, energetic and enthusiastic
performance of the ‘moans’ that women make during sex. (And she does
this 7 nights a week!!)
TEARS OF LAUGHTER
TEARS OF LAUGHTER
Peters struck a cord with every woman in the
house and brought tears of laughter to our eyes with My Angry Vagina
talking about indignities suffered throughout womanhood such as dry
tampons and, relax ladies, internal examinations.
Benjamin’s delivery of the account of the
horrific rape of a Bosnian woman, and her village, was very moving,
highlighting the terrible abuse and violence experienced by many women
in the world.
The audience are coaxed to join in with, and
randomly repeat throughout the show, a ‘clit fact’; that nature has
blessed the female of the species with the clitoris, an organ designed
exclusively for pleasure which has twice as many nerves as the penis.
The show closed to a hearty appreciation and the
amazing threesome returned to take their bows with red boas draped
symbolically around their necks.
Everyone took away something different from the show, but my octogenarian companion enjoyed the show, it was very funny but she felt there could be more UK characterisations and the v-word was a bit too repetitive. She did also comment that more information should be included about v-day, the global charity stopping violence against women and girls, which is supported by the show (http://vdayuk.org/).
The show is written by a woman for women, but
don’t let that put you off chaps. If the reaction from the chap
behind me is anything to go by, he enjoyed the show just as much as the
ladies. To 07-11-11