SHOW: Emotional Creature
Director: Jo Bonney
CAST: Karabo Tshikube, Lara Lipschitz, Barileng Malibye, Vuyelwa Maluleke, Ratanang Mogotsi and Zakeeya Patel
VENUE: The Baxter Flipside until August 16
REVIEW: PETER TROMP
The great irony of living in South Africa, as numerous cultural commentators have pointed out over the years, is that despite possessing perhaps the most progressive constitution in the world, which enshrines the rights of just about every group you can think of, it remains a place where a woman can’t feel safe walking down the street at a later hour. US playwright Eve Ensler, the author of ‘Emotional Creature’ – who was also responsible for the controversial ‘The Vagina Monologues’ – chose Johannesburg to workshop the play in 2011, and you can certainly say that a lot of the frustrations and anger that women in this country feel at being continued targets of rampant sexual violence and discrimination can be detected in the tone of the play.
Yet the ultimate objective of ‘Emotional Creature’ is a positive, and empowering one – to rouse a renewed sense of self-respect in millennial young women, who find themselves having to deal with an almost overwhelming barrage of issues, old and new, all of it amplified by mass and social media. It does this with the use of monologues through which a whole plethora of archetypical young women from across the world get to voice the challenges they face on a daily basis.
Slick, professional, impassioned, often humorous, and yes, emotional, it is as exhilarating a piece of theatre as one could hope to see in Women’s Month, and vital for both males and females to see.
Much of the success of the production can be attributed to the sublime cast, perhaps the most winning ensemble since Lara Byed staged ‘For Colored Girls…’ at the Baxter Studio in 2002 with the likes of Quanita Adams and Amrain Ismail-Essop. Each member imbues Ensler’s words with a riveting gravitas that will stay with you for a long while.
* Book at Computicket.