Review: The Butch Monologues

4*
The Soho Theatre

The Butch Monologues is an ever-evolving venture that unassumingly offers several interpretations of Gender Identity. These interpretations are taken from Masculine Women, Butches and Trans men. Writer, Laura Bridgeman joins forces with The Drakes, A private members club, to create a powerful commentary on sexual characteristics.  Director Julie McNamara succeeds in presenting a slick and economical piece that fully rounds off this talented ensemble. We are reminded at the plays opening that the performers have varying levels of stage experience. Each performer has an idiosyncratic quality which serves to enhance the insightful and witty content of the pieces. Packed with punchy personal anecdotes delivered with insatiable flare, 5 Well-groomed performers breathe life to frank, informative and insatiable monologues that set the Soho Theatre stage on fire. Each monologue presents the audience with colourful, charismatic and hauntingly familiar depictions of gender and queerness from those who both adhere to and reject ‘my’ understanding of it. We are invited to revel in the magnificence, delusions and conquests of unheard and underrepresented voices.

The well-paced and economically edited monologues sensitively address provocative themes with a robust energy and enviable comic timing. Themes revolving around kink, mental health, coming out and suicide are flirted with and skilfully presented. A stand out monologue communicates the recurring affect that childhood sexual abuse has on sexual identity as adults. An objective depiction of Gender Identity is achieved through careful selection of pieces from several social classes and cultures. Seeing such a dynamic and culturally diverse cast is both refreshing and inspiring. The Drakes Club offers its members the opportunity to perform on a rotating basis ensuring that no two performances will ever be the same. Performers read from scripts and stumble over tongue twisters which create a simultaneously coarse yet vulnerable and authentic delivery style. The Butch Monologues is a wonderful hub of creativity destined to provoke reflective and wholehearted discussion.

This performance has now closed, but visit thebutchmonolgues.com for info on future performances.

The Butch Monologues (c) Christa Holka (2)_preview

©L.Lashley 2017

Image © Christa Holka

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