Last night, Giavanna and I wandered down to Charing Cross for my second ever performance of The Vagina Monologues, which was on at the New Players Theatre (which I never even knew was there).
I saw the VM before in Brussels with a group of girlfriends and loved it. Yes, it was a little awkward at times (“did she really say that??”) but it was also incredibly liberating and empowering to hear women talking out loud about stuff women never talk out loud about, like *blushes* hair, names, sexual pleasure, appearance and…erm….fish. We all became very aware of ourselves and our sexuality and there was also a great deal of sisterhood and bonding – discussion of rape, birth, genital mutilation, embarrassing incidents, the shock surrounding the C word (still can’t say it, sorry!).
The New Players version was part of the See You Next Tuesday festival celebrating women. As part of V-Day, set up by Eve Ensler against sexual violence, there are six exclusive benefit performances, collecting money for the victims of sexual violence in the Congo. Partly because of this background, and partly because of the strength and enthusiasm of the actresses involved, I could see why this version has been described as a “social movement” – at times feminist, radical, political, tough, moving; and due to the wonderfully vocal overtly female and partly lesbian audience (I heard a bloke laugh once too), deliciously dirty and raucous with whoops, cackles and cheers. I also loved the theatre – great views, comfy seats, small, cosy and intimate. Decent bar too.
Being a little British, I did my fair share of blushing, cringing, and giggling, but I also found myself in tears at the more poignant parts and laughing my head off at the funny bits. I’d love to see these actresses again – they were feisty, funny and charismatic. In fact, the play I saw before this was Fool In Love with Sadie Frost and Carl Barat, and these ladies blew them both right off the stage.
You may still be able to get tickets for the 19th March show @ 8pm or the 20th March show @ 2.30pm, but I’m also posting about the play because it comes and goes in various guises in various theatres over the years – so I’d definitely recommend you catch it as and when you can. And, from the chuckles from a very mixed audience at last night’s event, bring your mates, your mum, even your gran!
Photos used by kind permission from Adam Lawrence – see http://www.adamlawrence.com/.