Hoxton Hall, London
Guest reviewer: Nicola Louise
Female Parts: Shorts tells the story of three very different women through their three very different monologues. A Woman Alone, The Immigrant and A Mother, each one battling their own series of events and demons.
The show opens in a living room, clothes hanging on the wall and baby things over tables and floor; the Woman Alone busts into the living room singing and dancing her heart out. It’s not until she notices that a new neighbour has moved in that she starts talking. Played by Gehane Strehler, she starts to describe her life as this happy fairy tale. It isn’t until we get further into the story that we realise appearances are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Strehler delivers a fantastic performance as a hard done by woman having to live her life according to her husband. The emotions she displays in this hour monologue pull you into the story, wondering what her next move is.
The next monologue is from A Mother, played by Rebecca Saire, a woman who just found out her son’s a terrorist. She asks the audience: “What would you do?” You can see the pain in her eyes, as she asks herself: “Why me? “What did I do?” Saire takes you on a journey of love, hatred, and disgust in this 40-minute monologue and I wager a bet that you don’t come out of there questioning the way you look at terrorists and their families.
Saire talks us through a dream she had, being the mother of a terrorist and through her experience. She’s able to add in other characters, completely different to herself and give them lives of their own.
The last performance was The Immigrant, portrayed by Clare Perkins, a West Indies woman whose dream was always something bigger than what her family had for her back home. She came to London, got an engineering degree, came home and got a job at the UWI (University of West Indies), got married and had a child.
The conversation was aimed towards the Imperial College London graduating class of 2018 where her daughter sat. Perkins spoke about the injustice of her going up into space, how, if she were a man, no paper would ever dare question her role as a parent, papers up and down the country were labelling her as the mother who abandoned her child. Perkins delivers an emotional speech of truth and realisation when she starts to address her daughter and it was refreshing to see that she knew she was more than just a mother … she was an astronaut.