Review- The Vagina Monologues


By: Haddie Nguyen


First things first. VAGINA is NOT a bad word. It is a biological term. A medical reality. A reproductive necessity. It is not perverted to say the word or acknowledge its presence. In fact, will all those who don't have a problem with the word in the audience, please raise their hands. Ok, good. Now can we please say the word... vagina... a little louder please... Vagina... It's out in the open. No need to be shy. This play is anything but shy. And if there were any shy audience members, they were certainly not shy by the end of the night.


That's the way this smashing-dashing, roller-coaster, in-your-face play begins. A charity project directed by Lizzi Wood-Vashishtha, began with the director explaining her thoughts on the play. This evening was about being inclusive, allowing all ladies and gentlemen who wanted to be involved with the show, join in. (No previous theatre experience required...) It was good to hear from her about the charity and why VDAY is important. 


Orange Peel was a great space for the show, in many respects. Great food and drinks, casual atmosphere, lovely staff. The show on Sunday was sold out and we were warned by producers to arrive early as seats were "First come, First serve." This didn't stop the audience from trying their best Hunger Games moves to get seats near the front. Sight-lines for the back of the house were pretty abysmal, but you could hear the show well enough with the mics. My best advice for future performances, maybe add another late show, that way audience don't have to squeeze in so tightly? I know many would have gladly paid more for a guarantee of a comfortable seat near the front and a better view of the show.


The monologues are all very different and provide a separate set of challenges for each performer. My favorites included Jennie Davies, Nicole Garbellini and Davina Lee Carrete. These ladies not only did the monologues well, they embodied the characters. We felt their emotion and zest for life. Davina would make me smile every time she stepped on stage in her giant pink onesie. It would have been good to have a program that included a lineup with the name of each performer and their piece, rather than just the cast names. The online program with full lineup was good, but it would have been nice to have it in physical form for us to look at in the venue.


The monologues I didn't enjoy as much, all had issues that surrounded around projection and clarity of speaking. If the performer was too focused on her cards or didn't get the pacing right, the pieces fell flat. Or in the case of some performers, who had accents, if they didn't speak really clearly, we tended to lose their words. This became very apparent in the group pieces where the director chose to place the performers in the house, rather than on the stage. The lack of projection and clarity made these monologues lose a lot of their punch. But these issues were very minor in what was overall, a wonderful evening.


I hope that the annual VDAY tradition will continue in HK. It was an enjoyable evening and well-worth the money. Now, one more time, VAGINA!


The Vagina Monologues has now closed. For more information, click here.

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 4.5


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