Formed of three different zoom calls, The Vagina Duologues explores issues affecting women during lockdown.
The first lockdown was a whole new experience for all of us last year. We had to learn to adjust pretty quickly and not being able to do any of the things that we had taken for granted.
This is hilariously shown through The Vagina Duologues, capturing the many different ways that the pandemic has affected our lives and the reliance of friendship at a distance.
Written, directed and starring Erin Holland and Grace O’Keefe is divided into three parts spanning across 2020’s lockdown showing how our attitudes begin to change over the course of the lockdown. April for example shows the two friends embarking on self-care and pampering – which goes to disastrous and wince-worthy effect. As time goes on, we discover the impact it has on their relationships and finally health – putting increasing pressure on their friendship.
Never have I heard two women discussing their vaginas with so much openness and while at times it becomes unnecessary when it would be interesting to hear more on how lockdown has impacted on them emotionally, it is also refreshing to hear women discussing their bodies with such frankness.
This being said, while the piece highlights the power of friendship on keeping spirits high, there is also an underlying and subtle element of competitiveness. This is particularly noticeable when Grace discusses how her boyfriend proposes to her and life seems to be going well, while Erin is newly single and has lost her job – the tension between them becomes tangible, highlighting the way the lockdowns have treated us all differently.
At the centre of it all, the performances from Holland and O’Keefe are wonderfully natural and you get a real sense of their friendship coming through from disastrous home bikini waxes to the uncertainty of when life is going back to normality as seen in the final few moments of the show. The contrast between their personalities are distinctive – Holland’s character is calm and confident throughout, while O’Keffe captures a more anxious and less certain of what the future holds personality.
The Vagina Duologues is really about the progression of the impact of lockdown on us all mentally and how it has affected our relationships with those around us both near and far. It is a relatable and funny piece that is entertaining from start to finish.
By Emma Clarendon
The Vagina Duologues is available to watch as part of the Living Record Festival until the 22nd February.