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NEW AMBASSADORS THEATRE

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      30.12.2002 16:31
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      HELLO THERE! Good morning. Now put your coffee down as I am about to explore the weird and wonderful world of the vagina! That's right I have just typed the word "VAGINA!" Isn't it daft how the word reduces people to mad giggling fits or a look of shock or a "How Dare You!" expression on their face?!!! Do you long to get beyond the giggling and want to celebrate the female organ? Well, the play, The Vagina Monologues addresses these issues and more in a really entertaining way. So without further ado- here's my review! The Vagina Monologues has wowed audiences in London's West End for two years. Excellent word of mouth has meant that the play has never been short of volunteers for its ever-rotating three-strong cast. It has now left the bright lights of London and packed its bags. AHHHHHH! But it has not left the country. To give regional audiences a taste (pardon the pun) of what to expect- the show went on tour. And guess what? Huge success. So The Vagina Monologues Tour 2 is about to start after previously thrilling audiences at every venue. But, what is the Vagina Monologues like? Is it like a hen party gone mad? Or do you have to burn your bra before you collect your ticket? Well, bury all of these preconceptions because The Vagina Monologues is an orginal piece of theatre that is highly accessible to both women and men. Lads, you may feel it has nothing for you. But believe me- this is more appealing than Puppetry Of Any Old Penis! For the opening night of this new touring production, which replicates the chop-and-change casting from venue to venue, the audience are excited but edgy, not quite knowing what to expect. Some men cower in hen-pecked fashion whilst, in other corners of the auditorium, women sit on the edge of their seats with a "tell me something new" look on their faces. Nobody knows quite what to expect. There are three microphones on stage in front of a huge backlit 'V
      .' As soon as our three hostesses - Mel B, Mina Wadia and Ingeborga Dapkunaite at The Lowry - step out on to the stage, it's clear that this is going to be a real fun and unique evening. The pop star appears comfortable talking about how women feel about their vaginas, and her ease transcends to the stalls and beyond; comedienne Wadia raises the comic temperature with her hilariously orgasmic contributions; and actress Dapkunaite transforms herself into a Bosnian gang-rape victim, stunning and silencing a lively audience. Each actress relishes her lines and clearly has a whale of a time on stage talking about subjects which often are swept under the English carpet and then hoovered to remove any trace of dirt. Writer Eve Ensler, who has based the monologues on hundreds of interviews with real women, pushes out the boundaries with this show that encourages women to talk freely about "down there". But if you imagine this to be a gimmick-filled event or PC piece of theatre, think again. Thankfully, there are no "been there, done that" menopause-inspired anecdotes. Instead, the topics on offer range from the silly but amusing - "What would your vagina wear?", Vagina-obsessed Bob - to the genuinely moving. This is where the show excels. It could have easily descended into a "I hate men" kind of show. But The Vagina Monologues has heart, attitude, humour and a genuine desire to entertain without waving any kind of banner at the audience. You never quite know what is coming next. And despite the static limitations of three women just sitting on a stage reading from cue sheets, the material remains fresh, funny and, speaking as a man, quite educational. I never thought that three women essentially reading from cue sheets could be so funny, moving and at the same time educational. As for the stars of the show- this is a show that thrives on its ability to attract the celebs to draw in
      the crowds- but to be honest- the show has a life of its own. The new cast for the tour have not been annnounced yet but if you like the sound of the play- book anyway. The real star is the vagina, well metaphorically spea king! There isn't any nudity here! So leave your dirty mac at the door! This is universal vivacious theatre with a capital 'V.' I will never to think of what's "downstairs again" in a giggly Carry On film way. Go for it, girls! I feel empowered, too. Glenn Meads (Expanded from an earlier review I did for www.whatsonstage.com) ON TOUR ======= Dates so far........ more to be added (I will update) 24th Feb- 1st March- OXFORD PLAYHOUSE (01865 305 305) 3rd March- 8th March- SALFORD- LOWRY (0870 111 2000) 10th March- 15th March- NORWICH, Theatre Royal (01603 630 000) PRICE ==== £8.50- £25.00 www.ticketmaster.co.uk MORE INFO ======== www.thelowry.com www.vaginamonologues.com www.whatsonstage.com CAST TO BE ANNOUNCED ================== I will update this as soon as the new touring cast is announced. Thanks for reading this. Happy New Year!

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