Fémage a Trois is Loquiter Theatre’s production of three twenty-minute monologues, performed by three women in three different circles of life. The first, Safe to Shoot by Polly Churchill and performed by Sarah Swingler, was the strongest. Despite an initial struggle with a hat whose brim overshadowed her face a tad too much, Swingler brought the character Cathy alive with heart-warming humour. After twenty-five years of marriage to a cheating husband, Cathy had rediscovered her new desire to date, and to reveal to the audience the challenges and quirks of those dates. Safe to Shoot was an articulate exploration of a middle-aged woman’s validation of her desire for love and lust, and had some seriously sharp lines dotted throughout. It also enabled a discussion about the hyper-sexualisation of young women, the problems surrounding female body image, and the invisibility with which society cloaks women above a certain age bracket. Charmingly, and refreshingly, Cathy’s character grasped that invisibility – her ‘superpower’ – and reclaimed it, using it to her advantage, whilst making some amusing jokes about Daniel Craig along the way.
A thought-provoking piece of theatre
The second monologue, Hysteria by Claire Gordon-Webster was less well-written: I could see where the plot was going from a mile off, and felt that some of the issues, although pertinent, were not given enough time to develop with depth and incisiveness. Alex Kapila did well enough with the script, but her delivery seemed, at times, wildly inconsistent with the subject matter, and actually therefore undermined it. That is not to say that it demanded high melodrama, but wild-eyed mania is not always subtle enough for certain topics. Gemma Harvey performed the final piece, The Best Worst Day of My Life, with a more natural and engaging style, discussing the disillusionment and disappointment that comes with motherhood even as she finished in tears of joy. It was a rollercoaster of emotions that humanised the piece – because, after all, life is very rarely absolutely sad or absolutely happy.
Lighting and sound design were simple, but therefore hard to fault, and use of Katniss Everdeen’s whistle from The Hunger Games films in Safe to Shoot made me smile wryly. Loquiter Theatre has produced a thought-provoking piece of theatre in Fémage a Trois, putting women, women’s voices and women’s issues at its heart. It is well worth a journey to Gilded Balloon’s Rose Theatre.
Princess Leia. Cleopatra. Katniss Everdeen. We all know women are amazing and fascinating. The women of Fémage à Trois are nothing less. Featuring new motherhood, epic transformations and the discovery of super powers, Loquitur Theatre reimagines this exciting format for 2017 with a brand-new trilogy of independent stories, told by the women central to them, as they battle with their demons. Charming, dark, sometimes hilarious, desperately normal; each story illustrates the incredible strength needed to meet life and its challenges head on. Includes work by Polly Churchill, Claire Gordon-Webster and Victoria Turnbull. Directed by Lou-Lou Mason.