For the past two years I have partaken in the performance The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler in Aberystwyth. After interviewing 200 women she brought together The Vagina Monologues and 24 years later it has been a popular choice to perform in February and March alongside This Girl Can Week and International Women’s Day (March 8th). This year we were raising money for Welsh Women’s Aid and to raise awareness about domestic violence- their website can be found here if you would like some more information on the charity and their services or would like to get involved: https://www.westwalesdas.org.uk/
The monologues I performed were, The Coochie Snorcher That Could and I Was There In the Room. Both of these monologues were very emotional, much like the rest of the play, which gives you a connection with the audience. I also was the assistant director alongside Lowri Morgan and helped bring the play together and the group bond as one.
It seems weird talking about the vagina in an everyday context as there is such a stigma surrounding it, which is in such a parallel to the male genitalia which seems to strike conversation quite easily (although it is not usually about serious issues, you do not usually hear jokes about the vagina). This got me thinking about all the stigmatised conversations we try and at most fail to have with topics such like, periods, sex and even cancer that were brought up during the performance. This play has also got me thinking about what being a woman means to me, although I think this should be a stand alone blog post.
After each performance I spoke to different audience members and tried to scope their reactions to the performance, although you can see people’s faces when you say certain lines that can be quite horrifying as well as the smiles on their faces on the funny parts of the play- it really takes you through an emotional rollercoaster. People, especially men who came to see the performance, were not as aware about the different nicknames we grow up with instead of the word “vagina”, some of my favourites were, ‘a twat’, ‘front bottom’ and ‘tuppence’, the last two being part of the five words you can add in to make the performance more localised, but these are what I grew up with. People were shocked at the list of nearly 100 words of what we call our vaginas, where as others, shared their own experiences of the names they grew up with!
The female empowerment I felt from this performance, both times of performing it, was insane! I have made some friends with people I would never have met otherwise and just sharing our experiences as women together made me feel less alone in how I feel. These women are wonderful people and I am very thankful to share the experience of this show with them.
Thank you very much to all the lovely people involved in the show and to those who came to see it, we loved every minute of it!
Here are some photographs taken during show week:
Professional Photographs Taken By Zak Wilce