Wonderful news for all the theatre lovers out there. Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has opened yesterday; and, as the tradition goes, the first week is filled with little (and big) gems of gay theatre from all over the world, which in itself is an amazing opportunity to see world class work without leaving Dublin.
I opened the festival for myself with what happened to be one of the most mind-blowing performances this year so far: Botox Angels brought over and presented by the corky Dutch theatre company Dood Paard.
Botox Angles is unlike any other play you have ever seen. Botox Angles is a piece about three women who dream about living together while the society, and its far from liberating rules, stands in their way. And, as they put it themselves, it’s not “I love you” anymore, it’s “I love you both”.
The piece strikes from the moment one enters the auditorium. The famous “Una donna senza uomo” is playing on the speakers; there are three half naked girls, wearing fake blond wigs and screaming make-up, who are greeting the audience each in their own way.
“…Such a beautiful harmony of chromosomes” the actresses truly are. During the slightly over an hour piece we witness Manja, Janneke and Ellen mock-interview each other (the microphone is a separate subject all together) on a number of crucially important topics: love, life, women in society, body, relationships, feminism. Each character has a very strong position and an amazingly defined character. In addition to that, every character has her bit of wisdom that she shares with the audience in a very light but deeply attracting way that one can’t help but listen to. Be it the body language or the soft tone of voice, the conversations are insanely charming. Every monologue in this piece can easily be ripped apart for quotes.
The fun doesn’t not stop there! In between the interviews, the actresses re-enact some of the famous pieces created by world famous female artists. It goes from slightly spooky Marina Abramovic’s Art must be beautiful, Artists must be beautiful artwork to absolutely shocking and feminist-though prvoking Yoko Ono’s 1964 Cut Piece, where the girl is being stripped from her dress by other people cutting random pieces from it with big scissors.
Now imagine all those highly feminist proclamations being spoken from a huge queen sized bed covered with just as huge cozy dark blue blanket. A boudoir conversation it is not.
The actresses, who play various parts, change the clothes and put the wigs on and off right there in front of the audience. It’s such an open performance that requires not only a high level of professionalism but also an enormous amount of confidence, trust in oneself and courage. Many actors have confined at different stages of their acting careers that theatre gave them the desired opportunity to hide under an invisible mask, to become somebody else. Botox Angels is a play that requires something more than having balls, it requires having a spine to perform a piece like that, where the actors use their own names and they are literally stripped down to their birth robes while performing.
Botox Angels is a piece of extremely refreshing theatre that reminds us that underneath every script there is somebody’s story; and, there is truth that cries for being told, for being heard and finally understood. This play is about women who yearn for being heard. They are all different in all possible ways: their bodies are different, their perception of the world is different, their ability to express themselves is different; but in the end this difference is what makes them such impossibly beautiful people.
It seems like Botox Angels just has it all. Apart from the phenomenal script and great acting, the play is filled with wonderfully choreographed movements.
Botox Angles by Dood Paard is part of International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, it runs in The Teachers Club until May 7th. For more info or to book tickets, please, visit: Botox Angles at International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.