Vagina Monologues, Big Hit in the City - The New Indian Express

Vagina Monologues, Big Hit in the City

Published: 29th April 2014 07:26 AM

Last Updated: 29th April 2014 10:29 AM

What would your vagina say if it could talk? Yes, that caught Chennai’s theatre goers off guard as well. That and plenty more on Sunday evening at the Alliance Française of Madras in Nungambakkam. After a couple of bans on the controversial Vagina Monologues in Chennai over the years, people showed up in large numbers to watch the play which has become something of a worldwide phenomenon ever since it was first staged in 1996 at the HERE Arts Center in New York.

And courtesy Bengaluru-based, Barking Dog Productions, Chennai got its first taste of the production, with three shows, booked back to back on the same day. With barely any publicity ahead of the event, for fear of another shutdown — all three shows were so packed that all seats were taken a good half an hour ahead of curtain time! And the audience certainly weren’t disappointed.

Eve Ensler’s series of short monologues that are based on interviews with women from different walks of life, were not only staged by an able crew of ladies in pyjamas, but also adapted with some desi references for a more relatable show. “We intended to have a kind of lounge effect for the girls on stage, hence the pyjamas,” said director Lekha Naidu. Also, she added with some emphasis, “Most of the script is very American, and I thought it would be silly if the actors had accents, so for them and the audience — the idea was to keep the experience as relatable as possible.”

So if you hear something along the lines of ‘moaning at a petrol bunk on Mount Road’ or a fantasy about Dilip Kumar, don’t be surprised. But honestly, despite the outrageous content, it didn’t seem for a moment that anyone in the room was uncomfortable. In fact, as a mark of respect, several people stood up as they applauded at the end of show. For those who didn’t see it, we definitely recommend it, should the play be successfully staged in the city a second time around.

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