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The Vagina Monologues Review: Beverley Hancock
Anita Dobson
Anita Dobson appears in The Vagina Monologues.

Liverpool Empire Theatre

16th - 21st June

Ticketline: 0870 606 3536

Starring Esther MvVey, Jean Boht & Anita Dobson

Liverpool stage
Liverpool Empire
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'The Vagina Monologues' is not a metaphor for women's liberation, radical feminis, or a shock tactic to get bums on seats. The Vagina Monologues, like Ronseal, does exactly what it says on the tin.

The show is a rollercoaster ride of celebration, protestation and discovery. The subject? Women's vaginas.

The collection of monologues began as a series of interviews gathered by New Yorker Eve Ensler. Women were asked questions such as; "If your vagina could get dressed, what would it wear?"

The interviews opened a floodgate as women around the world, from a multitude of backgrounds, told their stories.

The monologues vary from the hilarious and the unbelievable, to the moving and the tragic.

The Vagina Monologues over the years has boasted an impressive cast. Famous names such as Whoopi Goldberg, Kate Winslet and Glenn Close have all appeared in the show.

Whilst the Liverpool cast can't boast Hollywood credits, two are home grown talent and the other had the pleasure of adding lyrics to the Eastender's theme tune!

Anita Dobson, Jean Boht and Ester McVey star in this run of the Vagina Monologues. The cast are seated on stage throughout and play a multitude of roles as the show progresses.

The contrasting personalities of the three women created an excellent rapport on stage and helped to highlight the varying tempos and moods of the differing speeches.

At times I felt Jean Boht difficult to listen to. Not least because someone the age of my grandma talking about orgasms is a little unsettling, but also because her accent seemed to journey across the Atlantic and back during the course of a monologue.

Along with the varying accent, came rising and falling inflection, which meant I sometimes missed the dialogue. That said - Jean tackled the most poignant and disturbing monologue with great accomplishment and sensitivity.

Anita Dobson sailed through Southern American, cockney (obviously!) and the clipped tones of Aristocracy with flair. Anita's performance was engaging, entertaining and had excellent comic timing.

Esther McVey gave a solid performance with good polished delivery and some good characterisation too.

With no set aside from a giant 'V' (need I explain?) and no costume to denote character, the show is entirely reliant on the strength of the cast.

Although I believe there was room for improvement in some performances, the ensemble nature of this piece ensured a great pace, great laughs and a real evening of entertainment. And if you can manage to drag a male along as well - you'll have succeeded where all our audience failed!

The Vagina Monologues is at the Liverpool Empire Theatre for one week only, from Monday 16 - Saturday 21 June.


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