A trio of celebrities best known for their television roles have described their excitement at bringing an iconic stage play to the island for the first time.
Sue Holderness, Lisa Riley and Kym Marsh will premiere The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at the Gaiety Theatre tonight (Thursday), with two more shows taking place on Friday and Saturday.
By turns hilarious, insightful, empowering and poignant, the play has become a global phenomenon since it was first performed in 1996.
The three actresses share the roles of nine different women based on real-life interviews.
This is the fifth time that Lisa Riley, best known for her award-winning role in as Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale, has taken on the production. She said: ‘It’s brilliant, I love being involved with it. The rapport you have with the audience every single night is amazing. We know people come in and are a bit scared of what they’re going to hear and what we’re going to do. A man asked me once if it was like a suffragette meeting, but no, it’s nothing like that! We’re telling stories, true stories.’
‘This show has everything,’ explained actress Sue Holderness, who is famous for playing Marlene in Only Fools and Horses. ‘It’s funny and it’s got a lot of audience interaction, but there also some very poignant stories.
‘We get to do three monologues each, telling some quite intimate stories, some of which are funny, some are tragic, but all are fascinating and beautifully observed and written.’
‘You get a lot of girls’ nights out and hen parties who think it’s all going to be just a riotous laugh,’ continued Sue. ‘But then you get these poignant moments, which make it all more meaningful. You’ll have people roaring with laughter one minute, but you can often hear the tears in the audience the next.’
‘You can hear a pin drop sometimes’, agreed Lisa. ‘You have the audience in the palm of your hand and they’re listening to every word you’re saying. For us that’s a dream come true. And then we make you laugh, a lot!’
Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, who used to visit the island as a child, will be performing the play live for the first time tonight (Thursday). She said: ‘Lisa and Sue have done the show before so I really feel like the new girl. I’m very excited and quite nervous, but I’m really looking forward to it.’
‘Obviously it’s a little different to the material I usually work with! But I’ve done Coronation Street for eight years now, playing the same character, so it’s great to have the chance to flex my muscles a bit.’
So is it just for the girls? ‘In some places very few men are brave enough to come and see the play, but we’re hoping the men of the Isle of Man will step up and come and see it,’ said Sue. ‘Don’t be scared because it’s good fun, and you will definitely learn something!’
The Vagina Monologues is playing at the Gaiety Theatre from tonight (Thursday) to Saturday. A few tickets are still available, call 600555 to book or visit www.villagaiety.com