Over the weekend the curtain came down on my play Re:Tale at Hen & Chickens in Islington. It was an exciting 1-week run that saw my nerves fray and pride swell, as talented cast and crew brought my work from page to stage. If you weren't able to see it, here's one of the character's mini rants, performed by the exceptional actress Zena Carswell. A rather 'Huntress London' sentiment, I think you'll find.
SHOPGIRL: She left her paper. (a glossy fashion magazine is curled inside the newspaper) Oooo, and this. This. She had one of these. Bright, beguiling but evil. The devil in a red dress, Satan in satin, Lucifer in leggings, well for one more season maybe. Leggings.
(opens the magazine)
Shaming us into wanting pricey frocks imagined by over-cool under-coiffed, occasionally anti-Semitic, wide boys who are having a laugh while disguising themselves as everymen women lovers.
Consider this darling demon! He’s over-thinking a perfectly acceptable mackintosh, in an attempt to justify making it ludicrously expensive. He claims “the trench coat is the most democratic piece of clothing. A farmer in Yorkshire, the Queen of England and Sid Vicious would wear it.” So then modern democracy is white, Anglo Saxon and sporting a bad haircut? Maybe he’s got a point. But fashion? Democratic? Democracy’s not even democratic lately, so how are frocks and baubles going to be? And why should they? Fashion is fluff, not politics, and no matter how hard it wishes it were significant and serious, it’s not.
Most women know it actually.
We don’t take this personally. Maybe we do. (starts tearing pages from the magazine) It’s a trivial, convivial con that makes us chuckle. It takes the edge off, really. Flipping through these glossy, saucy, worthless, clueless, pretty pages.
Surely we know this is rubbish. We do! But still. It’s this that allows us to think that she (points to a woman in the audience) is something less than thee.
Thank you to everyone who made Re:Tale happen.
It was dramatic, joyful and stylish. Thank you so much.
photos of Zena Carswell by Alex Grey