‘The perfect show for right now’: I HAVE A MOUTH & I WILL SCREAM – Vault Festival

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

The Vaults, London – until 18 February 2018

The publicity for Abi Zakarian’s I Have A Mouth and I Will Scream puts it better than I ever could – it’s “a play-performance-art-protest-thing”. With one of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a theatre this year, involving Sean Bean.

Directed by Rafaella Marcus, the show has all the raw energy of devised work but also carries with it the weight of something much more deeply considered.

I Have A Mouth… is an attempt to “address every single feminist issue in the space of 60 minutes” and does so, with its company of six, in a mightily anarchic manner.

These are women who are just as likely to spit in a mirror, throw a tampon at you and bite the head off a wedding bouquet than sit quietly in the corner and put up with the patriarchy any longer and, fuck knows, they’ve got every right to be angry.

Media depictions of women come in for a right bashing – the competitive relationships endorsed by the likes of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada, the amount of self-empowerment Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ really possesses (although the cast twerk up a storm), a brilliant piss-take of British crime drama’s love of a complicated grizzled male detective and shinily nubile female corpses.

There’s darker stuff too. What it’s like to be persistently harassed on public transport, the psychology of rape jokes, white feminism’s constant refusal to acknowledge and honour intersectionality. And in the show’s most appalling “it’s funny cos it’s true” moment, a series of apology statements from men are parsed for their true meaning, in how they think they can and will get away with it.

Marcus marshals her excellently riotous cast with gleeful exuberance – Kayla Meikle, Peyvand Sadeghian (following on from Turkey – she is truly one to watch), Deli Segal, Hilary Tones, Jo Wickham (so very good in Steel Magnolias), and Karren Winchester. Funny and thought-provoking, illustrative and informative (I’d never heard of Judy Chicago’s art before – I shan’t be googling it at work…), I Have A Mouth… is the perfect show for right now.

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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