Female Stars Line Up to Reprise Vagina MonologuesDate: 12 March 2001
Eve Ensler's controversial feminist play, The Vagina Monologues, is set for a return to London this spring. It will arrive in May at the West End's New Ambassadors Theatre for a limited four-week season, opening on 10 May (previews from 8 May) and continuing to 3 June 2001.
Originally seen Off-Off Broadway in 1996, the award-winning Monologues first came to London in 1999 when it ran for a six-week season, with Ensler performing it as a one-woman show, at the fringe King's Head Theatre in Islington. During that UK outing, a special Valentine's Day performance, repeating a similar affair run the year before in New York, was also mounted at the West End's Old Vic Theatre. Joining Ensler on stage for the V-Day celebration were a host of British and American actresses, including Kate Winslet, Natasha McElhone, Melanie Griffiths, Marisa Tomei, Cate Blanchett, Calista Flockhart, Gillian, and Jane Lapotaire. All proceeds from the event went to women's charities.
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?".
According to an article in the Independent on Sunday, after an initial few weeks, Ensler - who both directs and stars solo in the show - would be replaced by a changing cast of high-profile female personalities such as Jerry Hall, Jackie Collins, Naomi Campbell, Meera Syal, Lulu and Candice Bergen. However, producers now say that Ensler alone will perform and that the show will definitely close, as scheduled, on 3 June.
- by Terri Paddock