Vagina Monologues review for the Reading Post
October 9, 2012, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , ,

I have always blogged about the great opportunity to do features across the three papers we have based in Reading and last week I reviewed The Vagina Monologues for The Reading Post. It was the first time I have had to be rude about someone but unfortunately Chelsee Healey was awful and I had to be honest!

The original review can be viewed here.

The Vagina Monologues
The Hexagon, Reading
Monday, October 1, 8pm

Ladies if you fancy a night out minus men then it can almost be guaranteed at a performance of The Vagina Monologues (bar the one per cent who get dragged along).

I doubt The Hexagon has ever had so many women in one go!

The thing I love about this text is that each actress can make it her own in each performance – for anyone who doesn’t know, the play is a collection of monologues inspired by interviews with women about their you-know-what.

And although the title may sound crass it is quite the opposite – yes there are lots of laughs as every possible term for the female anatomy is thrown around but the play also confronts serious issues like genital mutilation and rape.

The set up is always the same – three famous women sitting on stools and chatting to an audience who can easily identify with the subject matter.

But since the play made its debut in 1996 it is constantly evolving to keep it current and this production was no exception.

For this UK tour, running until October 27, the line up is Corrie’s Janice Battersby aka Vicky Entwistle, 2point4 Children’s Clare Buckfield and Waterloo Road’s Chelsee Healey.

Vicky Entwistle and Clare Buckfield stole the show and carried the other actress, who looked like she had arrived on stage by accident.

Vicky was a far cry from the disliked gobby factory worker on Corrie and was a warm likeable and versatile performer who had the audience in stitches with her multitude of characters and energy.

Clare took on the two most challenging monologues – My Angry Vagina and My Vagina Was My Village. These tackle everything from tampons to rape camps and her performance was stunning. The Dancing on Ice star also gave When Harry met Sally’s Meg Ryan a run for her money with a scene reminiscent of the well-known cafe moment from the movie. And she reminded the audience she gets to do that six times a week.

Chelsee Healey looked lost and awkward on stage. Her accents were poor, she had her head down reading off a script and she stumbled over her lines. She also looked as if she found saying the word vagina awkward. Maybe stick to the dancing Chelsee.

Despite this puzzling choice of actress, the other two carried the performance and had the majority of lines.

Reading Hexagon was the perfect venue for this show and as hoards of women left the theatre there was a definite vibe of the sisterhood with ripples of feminism unleashed into the town.

I also had a second pop at the 60 second news last Thursday here. It goes up on YouTube too and someone commented ‘bad hair day?’ which made me laugh…then again someone else tweeted I had nice hair, so everyone is entitled to their own opinion!

Looking forward to the Reading Comedy Festival – I have interviewed four comedians/acts so need to get those written up soon 🙂


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