West End Vagina Closes 12 Oct with Styler & LittleDate: 30 August 2002
Eve Ensler's celebration of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues, has announced its West End closure this autumn. It will finish on 12 October 2002, at the end of its current booking period, after 15 months in the West End. The production, which has attracted a succession of female celebrities, is going out with a bang, pulling in actresses Trudie Styler (pictured), Natasha Little and Deborah Weston to comprise the cast for its final weeks.
Meanwhile, as previously reported, the show's first UK tour launches a ten-week schedule from Bath on 9 September 2002, with stars for the opening venues including Mel B, Lesley Joseph and Rhona Cameron. A show spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com that the tour is already doing "really really well", with many venues selling out before casting is even announced.
Styler, best known as the rock star wife of Sting, has appeared in numerous films including Without You, The Grotesque and The Dress while, earlier in her career, she appeared on stage in Elegies for Angels Punks and Raging Queens and Macbeth in the West End.
Little's many film and television credits include Man and Boy, Dickens, Greenfingers, Love in the 21st Century, Vanity Fair and This Life. Weston has been seen in the West End in The Seven Year Itch, Popcorn and, most recently, opposite Madonna in Up for Grabs.
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 attracted stars such as Ruthie Henshall, Loretta Swit, Jerry Hall, Pam Ferris, Jenny Éclair, 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.
The Vagina Monologues opened at the West End's New Ambassadors Theatre on 10 May 2001 and has moved back and forth between there and the Arts Theatre ever since. Producers have not ruled out the possibility of a return to another West End venue at some point in the future.
Following Bath, The Vagina Monologues tour will continue until 7 December 2002 to Salford, Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Sheffield, Glasgow, Brighton, Richmond and Guildford.
- by Terri Paddock