The Vagina Monologues

Written by Eve Ensler
Presented by Migrant Artists Mutual Aid and V-Day 2012
The Lantern Theatre

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan

The Lantern Theatre is a cosy venue on the outskirts of the busy centre of Liverpool but, unlike many venues, it's perfect where it is. With a wonderfully homely but creative aura surrounding the place it is a pleasure to enter and when the show you're going to watch is a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, it's a double pleasure. With a cast of thirteen women assembled, each wearing red and a very large smile the pleasure they were taking in delivering this essential piece of performance theatre was very much evident.

This performance, one of three benefit shows as part of the worldwide V-Day movement, from Migrant Artists Mutual Aid was serious, delightfully funny, poignant and informative. It was notable that a large majority of the audience were female but this was perhaps not surprising for a show that has much to teach women – and men – everywhere. Although in most performances the gender of the observer has almost no bearing I could feel a genuine sense of appreciation from behind my front row seat that was almost overpowering at times.

The performances from the cast were engrossing, ranging from the hilarious to the perfectly pitched, the serious to the brilliantly casual in their delivery. The rarely broached topic of the titular vagina was explored thoroughly with interviews from the viewpoints of older women, sex workers, refugees, girls and many more besides to excellent and often breathtaking effect. The warmth of many of the monologues, despite the sometimes brutal imagery that appeared in your mind, was astounding and I felt as though I had learnt some genuinely important facts about the personal, political and physical importance of the vagina to the women interviewed.

There were many highlights including one of the interviewee's observation that the vagina is 'part of the house but you never think about it or even go down there' and one woman's description of a man who 'wanted to look at her' that was positively hilarious and a positive point in a show filled with political and tragic significance. In short The Vagina Monologues is an excellent show with much to teach and can be appreciated whether you're a man, a woman or anywhere in between.

The final performance takes place at Ullet Road Unitarian Church in Liverpool on the 24th of March at 7pm. More details can be found at:

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