17 February 2009, New Players Theatre, London.
Monologues must be the most difficult form of solo performance.
If you think about it, you are there, basically, talking to yourself. Well you are talking to (or at) the audience, but they aren’t responding. Well, not explicitly responding. But the actor on stage must have to pretend as if the audience is responding. Or that they are talking to someone. And to have to control the pace of the dialogue, leaving time for the audience to take things in. Ok, I don’t know enough about acting to be saying all this, but this is what I think when I think of monologues.
Anyway, this evening was a collection of monologue performances, all featuring women and society. Relationships, culture, love, family, values… Many of the pieces were very strong and all in all, it was a fantastic cast. There are about 4 that I found absolutely absorbing. Particularly the piece that ended the night – she was really good. You feel like you were there with her, as she reminisces on her experiences. You felt her pain, you felt her liberation.
The texts were really well written. It’s based on a collection of monologues, edited by Eve Ensler, the playwright who wrote Vagina Monologues. The whole evening was dedicated to raising awareness violence against women. The theatre was a very comfortable, intimate and fitting environment. And all the performers were local community members, who volunteered their time.
I love how art just seeps into every crook and cranny of London.