Vagina Monologues Confirms UK Tour & New CastDate: 17 July 2002
As previously predicted in The Goss (See 12 Jun 02), Eve Ensler's celebration of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues will mount its first UK tour this autumn, launching a ten-week schedule from Bath on 9 September 2002.
Meanwhile, though no company information has yet been confirmed for the tour, new cast members have been announced for the West End production, currently running at the Arts Theatre. From 22 July 2002, Tilly Blackwood, Rula Lenska and Angie Le Mar will take over from Rita Tushingham, Aicha Kossoko and Nina Wadia.
Best known for 1970s TV shows such as Rock Follies, Boon, Minder and Cluedo, Lenska's stage appearances include An Inspector Calls, Same Time Next Year and Dangerous Corner. Blackwood, a familiar face from TVís Absolutely Fabulous, was most recently seen on stage opposite Dawn French in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Le Mar is a record-breaking black comedienne who also presents a primetime radio programme on Choice FM.
The Vagina Monologues subtitled "An Anthropological Exploration", reveals a series of different women's stories and experiences involving their genitalia. The material was gathered from hundreds of intimate interviews, conducted by Ensler, in which women were asked probing questions such as "If it (your vagina) could talk, what would it say?".
During its West End run to date, the Olivier-nominated production has featured regularly refreshed three-strong companies, which have included stars such as Ruthie Henshall, Loretta Swit, Jerry Hall, Pam Ferris, Jenny …clair, Maureen Lipman, Edie Falco, Sophie Okenodo, Mariella Frostrup, Amy Irving, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dannii Minogue, Kika Markham, Meera Syal, Sophie Dahl, Miriam Margolyes, Suzanne Bertish, Elizabeth McGovern, Nina Wadia, Helen Lederer, Lauren Ward, Lisa Stansfield, Celia Noble, Donna Air, Jackie Clune and Anita Dobson.
Following Bath, The Vagina Monologues tour will continue until 7 December 2002 to Salford, Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Sheffield, Glasgow, Brighton, Richmond and Guildford. The concurrent West End production is booking at the Arts until 12 October 2002. It is likely to transfer to another venue after that. To date, it has moved back and forth between the Arts and New Ambassadors theatres since first opening in the West End in May 2001.
- by Sarah Beaumont