“A play exploring how men are treated differently from women – particularly with regard to sex, secrecy and shame”
BY JENNIFER KENNEDY
Apparently this show is not about Monica Lewinsky. Except – it is.
It is totally a show about Monica Lewinsky. Perhaps there’s a Monica in us all, facing trauma from the past that impacts on our current relationships.
Written by Dianne Nora this play explores how men are treated differently from women – particularly with regard to sex, secrecy and shame.
It made me remember the Clinton scandal when I was in my 20s and not really understanding how all the emphasis seemed to be on him and the possible impact on his Presidency and not on how a young woman’s life was being systematically destroyed.
Complicit in her downfall were all who indulged in salacious gossip, greedily devouring the scandalous headlines, never allowing her to move on. This play allows us to be voyeurs – listening to a tangle of conversations about the protagonist and her relationships, as she tries to build a life beyond the public eye.
Monica recognises that, “Everyone has an agenda.” An ex returns and as they bond over memories, he asks if she would mind doing a sex tape with him to raise his profile. Here, we are forced to confront the relentless scrutiny women are under whether they want it or not.
As the play progresses, sound and vision bites including tweets from the last 20 years flash up, reflecting key moments in time. The quality of the recordings however isn’t great, and the speed means it’s hard to follow them.
I would have liked to see the show pack more of a punch, but overall it’s a thought provoking piece. Have the intervening decades evened out the politics of gender? Have the issues, that can twist the lives of women, been mitigated?
This show gives you the opportunity to draw your own conclusions.
For tickets, visit tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/monica-this-play-is-not-about-monica-lewinsky
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