I Am An Emotional Creature (3 stars)
Review by Laura Money
Eve Ensler’s bold new script is The Vagina Monologues for a new generation. Focusing on the perspectives of young survivors of violence, abuse, sexual violence and the plights of young girls from around the world, it covers the feelings teenagers are encountering today. Ensler is no stranger to feminist issues and I Am An Emotional Creature certainly doesn’t shy away from confronting the audience with the statistics and stories affecting disenfranchised girls. Yet, it seems a little stale. Ensler uses the same language and same tropes of confrontation as she did 19 years ago. What was fresh and new has become boring and predictable. The only sad consistency is that the violence and issues have not been resolved.
The girls performing in I Am An Emotional Creature are certainly talented – their capacity to learn lines and retain every statistic and story given to them is commendable – especially when one considers their ages. The words do seem a little incongruous coming from their mouths, though. They speak the words of a second wave American feminist and at no point in the play does it seem like they are their own words. I have no doubt that the girls feel the sentiment and are impassioned by what they are delivering, however, it just doesn’t gel.
Overall, though, the message is strong and pertinent. When are people going to realise that there are so many ways of performing the role of ‘girl’ in society? The stage direction is bold and immersive, and at several points when the girls are in formation (almost as though they are Amazonian warriors ready to take on the world) a real sense of burgeoning achievement blossoms in their eyes. These girls are extremely talented, young and passionate and are excellent ambassadors for whatever wave of feminism we are now supposedly in.
I Am An Emotional Creature played at The Noodle Palace as part of FRINGEWORLD 2015 from 18th – 21st February.