The Vagina Monologues: A Review

It’s not that often that we find the V word, as it is fondly referred to it, being used with so much chutzpah. Honestly, if you think about it, when were vaginas part of your conversation last? Probably never! The Vagina Monologues, proudly presented by Poor Box Production, will change that little fact and a lot more. It’s hardly to fair to call this a simple play, based on award-winning playwright Eve Ensler’s book. Eve Ensler is, among many other things, a champion of women. I would have said rights but that’s limited – there is so much more her book has managed to open.

It is the performance of any audience’s lifetime by actresses so powerful that they transform the plain stage, where the only props are a sheaf of papers, into a new world. The Monologues are performed all across the world and stories take on local hues. Dressed in vibrant red, their voices weave a magic of unparalleled beauty.
Turn by turn these feisty ladies talk about women and their vaginas and their complicated relationships with such an integral part of their body.

It’s hardly easy to do the play as Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal recounts in the beginning – they’ve been turned away last minute in Chennai on account of disturbing law and order, an anecdote they always recount to audiences. They have faced incredible opposition from all sorts of groups and wings, who view them as immoral and detrimental to our ‘culture’.

But they return to open tales of gut-wrenching and heart-twisting stories. They talk about love and pleasure, of pain and mutilation, of women who have locked their hearts and their vaginas, of women who refused to acknowledge their vaginas. They speak about women who have found themselves through their vaginas, who have learned to love themselves.

The performance of the Big O, or should I say the Big Os, is fantastic and it would be fair to say no audience is the same again after watching this uninhibited display. The good thing about the Monologues is the way it subtly draws you out of, or should I say away from your prejudices. I remember the first time I saw it, I was hardly comfortable with the word vagina, no matter how much I thought of myself as a modern and liberated girl. By gently poking fun and using rich humour throughout, the Monologues make sure you come out a wee bit wiser than when you went in. The crowd, both men and women, usually love the play. Of course it does take a certain kind of sensibility to appreciate the play, which was listed as an ‘adult movie’ on Bookmyshow. But I’d definitely recommend it for anyone and everyone above 18 – it will teach you a thing or two, if not about anything else, then vaginas for sure!

Shruti Saxena

*This piece has been selected as the Winning Entry of the Day for the ‘Viewspaper Express Yourself Writing Competition’*