MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN

IMG_4142
A while ago, I realised that (since I have a vagina and grew up in London), it might be about time I wrote about my experiences of street harassment.

I talked about people touching my body when I hadn’t asked them to. I spoke about being cat-called and how often this happens. I reminisced about lengthy stares and bum grazes and, unfortunately, it seemed to resonate with a fair few of you. As a result, I thought I would bring your attention to ‘Might Never Happen’: a play co-written by one of my best friends, addressing aspects of the abuse and harassment that women face on a daily basis in the UK.

Doll’s Eye Theatre, the company behind this piece, address some important issues. They have taken the time to demonstrate the various guises that harassment takes on, the way people do or don’t deal with it and the way that it can make you feel the size of a thimble when it happens to you in a crowded place or somewhere you should feel safe, which, in actual fact, should be anywhere- including a dark alley in the dead of night; wearing heels, trainers, or an all in one for that matter.

I had the pleasure of watching ‘Might Never Happen’ back in May at the King’s Head in Islington. An intimate setting, which lent itself perfectly to the aptly uncomfortable scenes we endured. The material is thought-provoking and – refreshingly – demonstrates the male perspective on issues that are predominantly reserved for women’s magazine articles or feminine discussions. To me, this was the most important aspect of the performance because, all too often, I meet men who assume that women are overly sensitive to slurs on the street or that ‘we love it really’ when a man in a van comments on our *insert body part here*.

‘Might Never Happen’ asks some really interesting questions and opens up a space for conversations about what men can do to prevent this abuse from happening altogether through a combination of dark comedy and satire. It also highlights how little women can do to stop it, despite constantly being told to ‘cover up’ or ‘wear less make up’ to avoid ‘provoking men’, finally taking the blame and responsibility away from women and placing it on those who commit these acts instead.

The more we talk about how invasive these ‘lighthearted’ bum pinches, whispered ‘alright darlings’ and the standing-just-that-little-bit-too-close-to-us-incidents make us truly feel, the less accepted it will become.

Doll’s Eye Theatre will be performing ‘Might Never Happen’ again in October. You can get tickets here.

Let me know what you think.

LUNA GALE

SAM_4018

Last night, I headed over to Swiss Cottage to check out Luna Gale at The Hampstead Theatre.

The venue itself was gorgeous, with the perfect patio for summer nights. I was welcomed warmly by the staff who handed me my tickets and invited me to enjoy a drink during the interval. A lovely setting. But more about the show.

As someone who has worked first hand with children who have been taken into foster care, I had assumed that this show would grip me from the start. Sadly, it didn’t. Until the closing scene of the first act which made the audience gasp as the lights went down. But even the anticipation of the next act was short lived.

I must admit that I did fall in love with one of the characters though… Luna’s dad, Peter. He was so honest and, more importantly, I believed in his character. But feeling empathy for only one of seven characters in a play about child abuse, neglect and foster care? It just didn’t seem good enough.

The plot was okay, although somewhat predictable. And I found that the intricacies of it were lost on a 26 year old London girl. Set in Iowa and relying heavily on ridiculing the ‘crazy Christians’ of America, I couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable because – unlike The Book of Mormon – these references seemed irrelevant to the story. It felt like mocking for mocking’s sake.

SAM_4025

Despite my own afflictions with the show, I have to admit that the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it and the actors received a rapturous applause at the end.

I, however, was glad to see the back of The Hampstead Theatre on this occasion. Luna Gale simply wasn’t for me, although I do love a bit of Sharon Small. But then again, who doesn’t?

To the trains.

SAM_4027