• Herschelle Benjamin

A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer.

Sometimes you are shocked by what is considered the ‘People’s Choice’ in our modern day society. Like the world and most Americans were when Donald Trump was elected the 45th US President. The same way I’m shocked when some ‘People’s Choice’ is to NOT have a second plate breyani or a bakkie malva pudding. But sometimes the ‘People’s Choice’ is an honest, well-deserved and understandable choice. Like Sugar Daddy theatre co. having been awarded ‘The People’s Choice’ Fleur du Cap award in 2013. And now in 2018, their back with a brand new VDay-play: 'A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer'

The play brands itself as writings to stop violence against women and girls, and it will have you on the edge of your Alexander Bar Café and Theatre-seat with the ground-breaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. With contributions by: Edward Albee, Tariq Ali, Maya Angelou, Michael Cunningham, Jane Fonda, Alice Walker & others.

The monologues are performed by a diverse cast in age, gender and race, featuring: Shannyn Fourie, Alison Hofer, Leon Clingman, Evan Hengst, Sive Gubangxa, Allistine Bo Grady and Liese Kuhn bringing the honesty, vulnerability and integrity to their craft and their characters. It is also worth mentioning that all the profits of the production will be donated to charity i.e Rape Crisis & Father A Nation.

These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of violence at all levels: brutality, neglect, a punch, even a put-down. It’s about taking a stand against such violence in our own communities and show support to victims. And what a comeback it has been for Sugar Daddy, after their 2016 acclaimed updated version of the VDay-Play: The Vagina Monologues, with an all-female cast, celebrating women’s sexuality and strength.

Not even a glass of wine will take away the goose bumps nor lump in your throat with what director Tamryn Speirs has achieved with the production and performances. The actors became characters, witnesses, preachers and eventually when I closed my eyes from time to time, they became spiritual. At times it felt like being at a Maya Angelou conference or just being in a room with diverse people without tricks for sympathy nor praise.

The lighting is functional and minimal. You’ll be surprised with the metaphor of actors sitting on chairs in a row becoming a mirror for the audience looking at themselves with every word and action. These stories belong to real people who were brave enough to share them with the world. It is perspective, perspective and perspective! Maybe that’s what we all need.

Sugar Daddy remains inspired by the VDay tradition, which happens every February, where Eve Ensler allows you to perform any of her plays free of the rights (Which are usually pretty steep) as long as the proceeds are donated to charity. The company sees this as a great opportunity to give back to our community while doing what they love. They hope to stage the production again for Women’s day, with permission from Eve Ensler.

VDay 2018: 'A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer' has three performances at the Alexander Bar Café and Theatre from 26 to 28 February at 9pm. Tickets are available at shows.alexanderbar.co.za.

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