There has been a lot of theatre reviewed by The F-Word in the last week or two, which is fantastic! I have to admit, though, that I have been rather remiss and been a bit sluggish about mentioning in the blog when each one is published. Sorry about that, theatre fans and general feminist arts enthusiasts! However, I will try to make up for it now with a digest of the most recent reviews from the section. Enjoy!
First up, Jane Duffus reviewed My Normal Life, a production shown for one night only in Bristol. Created by the charity Integrate and performed by 65 young people, the play follows the everyday lives of the characters and their interactions with and experiences of FGM. Jane explains how “My Normal Life places FGM in the context of violence against women and girls, cleverly putting it in everyday scenarios” and finds the production to be a commendable approach to discussing a complex and difficult topic.
A few days later, Lissy Lovett reviewed The Amen Corner, which is showing at the National Theatre in London until 14 August. This is a revival of a play written in the 1950s, which centres around a group of black women and the church they attend in the USA. Lissy writes, “The Amen Corner is a fine production that has as much to say now about contemporary British society as it did about Harlem when it was written.”
Private Lives is also a revival – this time of a 1930 Noel Coward play – and was reviewed by Lola Ripley. Assessing the West End production from a feminist perspective, Lola writes: “Rejecting the constraints of the traditionally feminine and the pomposity of the manly man, [the main couple] are most compelling when gender roles are inverted, or firmly wedged in a sort of androgyny where both can be equally wonderful and equally awful.”
Finally, Jane (who’s been very busy!) reviewed Oxygen on its tour across the South West towards London. The tour is following the route of the women who marched from Land’s End to Hyde Park for the largest suffrage rally. Jane sees it as “an uplifting and touching reminder of what we have achieved so far and of how far we still have to go.”
The photo, taken by Alexandra Hall and used with permission, shows five women, wearing long black skirts, white shirts, sashes and hats, standing outside crowded around a banner reading “Land’s End to London”.