I wish I’d seen Female Parts in 1982 instead of my algebra homework in high school that year. As a middle aged woman in 2015, I can appreciate the reprise.
Evelyn Krape defies her chronological age and could be confused with part of the stage management crew, while lifting and manoeuvring the props in the first monologue. The first instant, I could see Krape clearly retained her fitness level since her performance in Olive Branches. She astounds with her muscular agility as she delivers hilarious one-liners while sprinting and prancing about the stage.
The removal of props occurred in the dimly lit surrounds of the Fairfax Studio. An efficient process under the disguise of piano tunes heard in a cocktail lounge. Krape reappears and adorns one of many simple and effective costumes.
The Penthouse woman of 2044, the futuristic second monologue, is a confusion of pace. Sara Hardy reminds us of the similarities of life in 2015 and potentially in 2044. Our accomplishments with “two faced friends” and computers we pretend are our pals.
Hardy has written dynamic choreographed actions with accompanying witty dialogue. Krape delivers them with equally impressive athleticism. She astounds in the second monologue,
doing push ups on a large red Swiss ball. The gasps from the assortment of ages in the audience, signify an intended feeling of exhaustion.
Lois Ellis direction loosened the reins in the second monologue. I’m encapsulated in the characters abstract world of the future. Krape utilises the stage with erratic antics then slows down dramatically and drags a little. I too, joined the audience shuffling in our seats and began to feel as trapped as the character in the apartment.
A surprising fairytale theme in the final monologue, uses clever antidotes involving unlikely props. Krape masterfully switches between accents and unforeseen characters. We follow her journey into the imagery of Hardy’s corporate Ivory Plastic Jungle.
Adolescent mannerisms endear us and the grandmother theme resurfaces in the form of her impending Hip Op. The trilogy completes. We feel empathy with her triumphs and helplessness of the role a woman plays in her family and society. We’re left to question, is it a tale or reality?
The minimalist set fulfilled its purpose in the middle monologue. The lighting, forced me to acknowledge the environment with spasmodic lights embedded in the set. When my attention wavered on the 2044 woman; a convenient voice over relieved me of impending slumber as did the flashing lights, in a believable failing security system. A soft haze of mist, catapulted me back to a child like state of the fairytale in the third monologue.
The vibrant grandmother character burst out onto stage in the first monologue. I was laughing at her first line. I can’t sleep, the poignant name sake, made me wide awake.
I’m fascinated by a futuristic wife, in the second monologue. The monotone commentary compliments the technology versing her humanity. I witness the career woman falling off her high horse in the fairytale. I can empathise with her pain as she limps convincingly about the stage.
The monologues meld together considering the modern and aging woman of today and tomorrow. The segmentation of each character set in present, future and past is a unfailing concept.
Krape , Ellis and Hardy. Three women, three characters, three issues of sleep deprivation, fear and ageing. Uplifting, acceptance and laughing at ourselves. Three reasons to see More Female Parts.