Theatre Review: Bullet Hole, Park Theatre, Finsbury Park
- Credit: Archant
Powerful story of Female Genital Mutilation puts audiences on a 90 minute rollercoaster of emotion
The theme of this play is so powerful and yet so private, the actors so passionate, that the audience is on an emotional roller-coaster for the whole ninety minutes.
Female Genital Mutilation is cruel and destructive and yet deeply embedded in the culture of some communities.
So, perhaps it is time that theatre tackled this uniquely complex and sensitive subject. Clearly, it is, at one level, yet another method of keeping women in their place.
But it goes far deeper. Gloria Williams, the writer, explains and explores the cultural, emotional and political implications while narrating a gripping story.
You may also want to watch:
Cleo, movingly played by the writer herself, received, at the age of seven, the “gift” of type three genital mutilation.
This causes enduring pain and negatively affects almost every aspect of her life. Torn apart, mentally and emotionally as well as physically, she wants to have a reversal.
- 1 Helen Anderson: Finsbury Park murder victim's father pays tribute to his daughter
- 2 Police looking to speak to man in connection with sexual assault
- 3 'Proper old Islington boozer' voted best pub by readers
- 4 Kacem Mokrane: Islington man amongst seven charged with 2017 murder
- 5 Mem and Laz Brasserie voted as readers' favourite restaurant
- 6 Trevi Ristorante scoops prize with readers' votes
- 7 Spot the '90s pop stars in the Never Mind the Buzzcocks identity parade
- 8 Home of the metre-long pizza opens in Finsbury Park
- 9 Aristocrat's daughter, 25, died unexpectedly after developing 'severe headache'
- 10 Missing teenagers from Dagenham may be in Islington or Haringey
She is sent, together with Eve, another F.G.M. survivor, to stay with Aunt Winnie, an older woman who is happily adjusted to this cultural practice - although Anni Domingo’s nuanced performance makes it clear that she also has been damaged by the process.
Eve (Doreene Blackstock) is a gentler personality, sympathetic towards Cleo, and more accepting of traditional feminine roles.
But is she strong enough to combat the forces ranged against them? Or will she convince Cleo to accept her fate?
Director, Lara Genovese, presents a fast-paced and absorbing production, which never flags. Although more could have been made, for instance, of the powerful symbolism which haunts the play – particularly in relation to Eve’s sensuous relation to textiles and sewing. And, bearing in mind that some of the speech patterns are unfamiliar to many, it would have been helpful if the early scenes were taken more slowly to give the audience a chance “tune in”