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The Vagina Monologues, Theatre Royal Brighton, November 22
The Vagina Monologues has been a stage hit since it was first performed in 1996, and this incarnation features three recognisable faces from UK television: Vicky Entwistle, Claire Buckfield and Hayley Tamaddon.
Focusing on issues that would once have been deemed feminist, including rape, tampons and sexual confidence, the monologues have been modernised slightly but some of them seemed a bit stale. This clearly wasn’t the view of most of the audience though – spirits were very high, as was wine consumption and the pitch of the cackles from the back row.
Vicky Entwistle isn’t known for her calm performances and she didn’t disappoint – her shrill, brash voices certainly mark her as a character actress, but not many characters I’d like to meet. She plays the old battleaxe well but the sound technician should have ensured her volume stayed quieter than full-on screeching.
Claire Buckfield, the 1990s teenage daughter from 2point4 Children, portrayed poignant women from the Congo and Bosnia well but with the accent of a drunk Kiwi, then redeemed herself with a great faked orgasm.
The surprise hit of the show was Hayley Tamaddon, best known for winning Dancing On Ice in 2010 and being an Emmerdale regular, who had convincing accents, great comic timing and a likeable stage presence.