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It's a Hard Life When You Have a Vagina

2008-07-03 09:22
I will never watch another student production. EVER! At least, until I fully recover from the ghastly spectacle that was Durban Institute of Technology's National Arts Festival 2008 production, written and directed by Shona Johnson.

Which is a pity. It's a Hard Life When You Have a Vagina has a lot going for it. The story might not be the most original, but it offers a witty and at times laugh-out-loud commentary on society's perceptions of women, and women's perception on women. It's a great script about what women have to deal with on a daily basis. And with 'vagina' in the title, ticket sales shouldn't be a problem. Or it wouldn't have, if the synopsis in the festival booklet didn't give the game away (it's not really about sex.)

Unfortunately the production is poor to say the least. The cast tried their best to sell their characters to the audience. But they mucked it up so badly with over-the-top facial expressions, messy dance routines and badly-timed dialogue that I'm probably scarred for life.

A funny incident occurred when the lights went down right at the end of the show. With all the scuffling backstage, one of the makeshift stage walls was accidentally pushed over, exposing a very frightened cast member when the house lights came back up. This poor girl appeared to be paralysed like a deer caught in a truck's headlights; she just froze. I think she was pretending the audience wasn't there watching her, waiting for her to make a move. These students have a long way to go and much to learn about professionalism and how to make the best of embarrassing mishaps.

- Megan Kakora
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