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 previous 15-month West End run, when it moved back and forth between the New Ambassadors and Arts Theatres between May 2001 and October 2002, the Olivier-nominated production featured regularly refreshed three-strong companies, which attracted stars such as Trudy Styler, Ruthie Henshall, Loretta Swit, Jerry Hall, Pam Ferris, Jenny Eclair, 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.
Since then, The Vagina Monologues has toured the UK extensively, often featuring similarly high-profile casts. The show has also become a global phenomenon with multiple productions in over 25 countries and continuing open-ended runs in New York and Paris.
Sharon Osbourne became a household name in her own right after the success of MTV’s fly-on-the-wall show The Osbournes, which followed the daily ups-and-downs of life in heavy-metal veteran Ozzy’s family. She is also a judge on reality TV talent contest X-Factor.
The two women who will be joining Osbourne in The Vagina Monologues West End return season have yet to be announced. The production is presented by Mark Goucher and Sally Greene.
Currently at Wyndham’s Theatre, By the Bog of Cats, starring Hollywood actress Holly Hunter, is due to complete its limited season on 26 February 2005. It’s followed, from 3 March to 2 April 2005, by the Birmingham Rep touring production of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, featuring (for London dates only) Ruby Wax as the Grand High Witch (See News, 21 Dec 2004).
- by Terri Paddock