Writer: Madeleine Corner
Director: Madeleine Corner
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
In this post-#MeToo world, there have been a number of productions that explore femininity and what it means to be a woman. She is, however, is a little bit different from the rest. Drawing on verbatim interviews conducted by the young performers, and skilfully interwoven by playwright and director Madeleine Corner, this piece showcases the opinions and feeling of a range of women from diverse backgrounds and ages.
The five-strong cast of students from Croydon High School play each of these characters with sincerity and thoughtfulness. From a script written in just a month – and rehearsed in only four days – Esha Parekh, Analisa Carrozzo, Sewa Sangowawa, Josie Cunnington and Shermya Modupe wring all of the humanity from the complex attitudes born from the personal experiences and cultures of their muses.
The women’s tales are interspersed with the thoughts of 10-year old Aaron (played by Carrozzo), as well as audio interviews with Henry – a trans man who has discovered (with some discomfort) the innate privilege that comes with maleness, giving a truly unique insight into our understanding and experience of gender.
The staging is simple, yet very effective. Using only five stools, a few props, and multi-purpose white bands – which become doorways and picture frames – the actors move seamlessly between sections without the need for clunky scene changes.
Some of the most enjoyable moments come from interviews with a group of girls, affectionately referred to as the “Little Monsters”. From the mouths of these babes comes a different understanding of being female – full of confidence in their abilities, and unashamed of their strength. Although they were the only interviewees that were spoken to as a group, somehow the adult voices still seem to form part of a conversation, a discussion where everyone’s view is seen as valid as each is valued for its authenticity.
Runs until 10 August 2019 | Image: Contributed