Anna Hadley reviews Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina? At Edinburgh Fringe.
I like to see at least one play which makes box-office attendants at the Fringe blush when they’re retrieving my ticket. Cue: ‘Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina?’ In reality, the premise of this show by Chucked Up Theatre is a little less tongue-in-cheek. It’s about vaginismus, and the psycho-social shame that many young women face when dealing with the condition.
This is a two-woman play, with the inspired choice to have an actor perform as a long-suffering vagina. Lottie Amor is rather wonderful as a vagina, which she performs with the zest of Villanelle. Christelle Elwin, who plays Bea, the owner of said vagina, has such a lovely singing voice that it threatened to overshadow the play for me. I found myself wishing that I was at her music concert, instead. On that note, the music and dance segments of the show were the highlights, perhaps to the detriment of the writing.
It was also a shame that the acoustics at this venue let this performance down. As is due with the heinous under-funding of the arts, whereby most shows at the Fringe are crowdfunded, these performers needed their microphones attached, which I presume a budget was not allocated for. I would recommend that the hard of hearing sit front-row.
Nevertheless, this is a worthy watch. It was in fact, rather educational. If anyone wants to get more in touch with their vagina, this was a whistle-stop tour of dilation, muscle contraction, and the effect that historical misogyny has on women’s bodies and the way we communicate (or don’t communicate) about them.
Indeed, this will probably be the best show you’ll see about vaginas at the fringe. This may seem like a statement I don’t need to make, but if you too have attended an hour of late night comedy where the performers are exclusively men in snap-backs, you’ll understand what I mean.