The Female of the Species @ The New Theatre

Germaine Greer was positively outraged by this play, based on a real life incident in which she was held captive in her own country home by a crazed devotee. However, Ms Greer’s mortification seems like a reasonable price to pay for our hour and a half of pure hilarity.

The play progresses through a succession of individual examples of the post-feminist age; from the abandoned child of an ardent feminist to the Neanderthal man abandoned by his wife. All struggle to adapt to ideologies enforced upon them by the polemics of the feminist legacy. What pursues is none other than complete and unadulterated farce letting the audience relax and enjoy the jokes. The performances succeed in being witty and sharp whilst still retaining the element of warmth that attracts our sympathy. Even Margot Mason, the central character, escapes being detestable despite being the embodiment of sensationalist and irresponsible publishing.

The cast definitely do the play’s humour justice with impeccable comedic timing from the onset. Lara Money who plays Tess, the daughter of the feminist writer (whose greatest rebellion against her mother is to become a stable, home-owning wife and parent) and Laura Free (Margot) are particularly hilarious. The overall pace is brilliant, with the volume of laughter in the auditorium rising throughout.

A scholarly examination of feminism this is not, but a mirthless and satirical scrutiny it certainly is. Let’s hope feminism can take a joke.

Anne Herlihy

ArtsArts Reviews

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