Watching Three Women is immensely frustrating. It aims to bolster the role of women in the New Testament by taking several biblical stories from the perspective of the women involved. Although an interesting idea, its message is confused and not helped by lacklustre delivery. Written and performed by Christine Buxton, the prose takes us between her own analysis, the Bible and the imagined thoughts of the lady who was healed by Jesus for illicitly touching his cloak, or Mary Magdalene when she comes across the resurrected Jesus. Yet despite holding dramatic potential Buxton has unfortunately not used her abilities to maximum effect.
First of all, its message wasn't clear. It seemed to suggest that although women couldn't contribute to society, they were still able to 'listen, wait and watch' and were thus just as important to the message of the Bible as their male counterparts. The feminist undertones were never very obvious and so it read more like she was merely highlighting several women in the scriptures rather than presenting them in a new light.
Secondly, Buxton seems more than capable of creating a far more dramatic atmosphere to help tell her tale, but instead favours a wooden delivery as she sits barefoot on a stool, reading from a book. I can't understand why Buxton made an effort with set and clothes but hadn't learnt the piece, preventing it from being delivered as a monologue. She sits for nearly the whole time, leaving us with something halfway between a lecture and a poetry reading with only a slight movement of the stool or a couple of light cues for added effect. Sadly, it gave a strong impression of lethargy. The script also fails to excite; indeed, it was rather patronising for it to remind us that Google or telephones did not exist in the time of Jesus.
The chief problem with this piece is that whilst the topic might fuel intellectual discussion, there is a total lack of lack of energy making it uncompelling to watch. Despite looking interesting, the set wasn't used at all and Buxton gives us little to look at by remaining sat down. If you watched this with you eyes closed you would still be able to talk about it afterwards as well as anyone else. It fails to excite.