Vagina Monologues: Review
On Thursday, February 7 the NCUI auditorium was jam-packed and around a hundred people waited to get in. A few lucky ones like me found place to stand and watch the play: The Vagina Monologues.
Seeing the over-crowded hall I thought of dropping the idea of watching the play. I am glad I did not do that.
Eve Ensler wrote the first draft of the Vagina Monologues in 1996 following interviews conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. The Indian adaptation of the play was presented by the Times Delhi festival, the play was directed by Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal. The play is made up of a varying number of monologues read by 4 women (here): famous theatre actor Dolly Thakore, Avantika Akerkar, television actor Jayati Bhatia and Sonali Sachdev.
Dolly Thakore is best known for her role in Page 3 and television serial Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka. Theatre goers know her for much better works. Avantika Akerkar has acted in Ashes To Ashes, Lunch Girls and Whatever You Say. Jayati Bhatia has acted in Going Solo Part I, Mahatma vs Gandhi and in television serials Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki. Sonali Sachdev is an orthodontist who gave up the profession for her love for theatre.
Avantika dressed in a gracious black and red dress introduced the play. Her initial interaction with the audience assured that each person sitting there is comfortable and believes that vagina is not a dirty word. The play started with the number “I want to break free” which aptly suited Sonali’s “My Short skirt is not an invitation” – act.
The red and black colour dresses symbolized the central theme of the play.
In various monologues in Vagina Monologues, there was discussion amongst the women: “If your Vagina could speak what would it say?”, “What would your Vagina wear?”
Dolly Thakore in 'My Angry Vagina' talked about injustices wrought against the vagina, such as tampons, douches, and the tools used by gynecologists.
I think Avantika was brilliant in 'The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could', which recalls memories of traumatic sexual experiences in her childhood and sexual experience in her adolescent years with an older woman. Sonali described in 'Because He Liked to Look at It' how a woman came to love her vagina because of a sexual experience with a man (Atul) who was in awe of vaginas.
I was really tired standing all the while so couldn't pay much attention on the monologue 'I Was There in the Room', where Dolly described the birth of a woman's granddaughter.
The lights used in the play gave a very good affect to the monologues. Especially in “My Angry Vagina” when entire stage turned red with the lights. For all other monologues light focus shifted on the one who read the monologue. The music and songs were reasonably well selected.
The arrangements at the NCUI auditorium were a big disappointment. The number of passes distributed outnumbered the seats in the auditorium and hence lot of people had trouble enjoying the play!
However, sheer number of people interested in watching the play shows how welcoming Delhites have become to enjoy plays on “taboo” subjects. So, all those who missed it this time make sure you are there the next time Vagina Monologues comes to Delhi!