Nine Parts of Desire
From: Wednesday, 10th September 2003
To: Saturday, 4 October 2003
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In Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo s provoking play, an Iraqi woman artist known for her daring use of the female nude, and rumoured affairs with men tied to the regime, paints into life an astonishing generation of women, exposing their radical, sexy and ultimately human stories. Nine Parts of Desire challenges both the rapidly changing Iraqi feminine identity and the western view of what such women must be thinking.
12 September 2003
Heather Raffo is perfectly placed to comment of the war in Iraq. Being half American, half Iraqi she has a unique viewpoint and in Nine Parts of Desire uses it to enlighten the audience and dispel a few myths.
In this 65 minute monologue we meet a host of women including Layal, an Iraqi artist who has stayed in Baghdad despite the danger and controversially continues to paint the female nude, then there's Amal, a rotund Bedouin and Hooda who’s seen the atrocities of the Baath party first hand and claims the only enemy to the Iraqi people is the regime.
Um Gheda shows us around a bombed shelter, a Doctor in Basra shares her fears about the consequences of uranium tipped ammo and there’s only one westerner, an American of Iraqi descent, who we can only presume is Raffo herself, watching the war on CNN unable to contact her family in Baghdad.
The balance in Raffo’s parentage does not lead to a balanced argument and we are never shown the American c...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52) - 24 September 2003:
The piece works because she has taken some wonderful observations and some very meaningful material and crafted it well for the most part, however there is some puff and very Americana smaltzy type lines (like the Artist who absorbed all women’s experiences seemed a bit disingenuous to me). I particularly liked her Bedouin woman, a fantastic portrayal and some wonderfully touching and funny lines but oh so real at the same time. Ms Raffo is certainly able to act but I would like to see other of her works to better judge her writing ability, I would have to say that a lot of this play, and quite rightly, comes from real people, observations and experiences. ...