Released in the mid-nineties, The Vagina Monologues is an admirably frank play. Whilst there isn't a certified "plot" as such, everything is held together neatly by monologues describing the highs and lows of possessing, well, a vagina. As one of the few solitary males in the audience, and with the entrance door's glaring soundbite "This Play Contains Mature Themes" circling my head, my initial feeling was that the subject matter would make me feel somewhat... embarrassed.
Perish the thought! The Vagina Monologues turned out to be a witty, insightful and occasionally harrowing play. As well as amusing set pieces dealing with alternative names for orgasms, different methods of foreplay and sexual politics, a lot of more serious points were made. There were narrative interludes which told of atrocities committed in various different countries in Africa. The final scene was particularly moving, consisting of the seven players acting as teenage sex slaves in a prisoner of war camp in The Congo, which turned out to be based on real-life events.
A tremendous production, The Vagina Monologues is, nevertheless, difficult to describe; particularly, I think, from a male's point of view. All I will say is that it is a riveting, fast-paced and worthy production, which deserves to be seen by everyone, whatever their sex. It'll make you smile, it'll make you think, some of it'll probably make you cry. In my opinion, it ticks all the right boxes. Long may it reign.