Theatre Review: Every Woman- A Celebration Of Women
Director: Senga Brockerhoff
Playwright: Senga Brockerhoff
Musical Director: Lize Ehlers
Cast: Senga Brockerhoff, Lavinia Kapewasha, JD Januarie, Chantell //Uiras, Lize Ehlers, Jennifer Timbo, Heather ‘Miss H’ Dennis, Mikiros //Garoes
Just like Pitch Perfect, Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip and all the many chick-flicks I have seen and would still watch over and over again, Senga Brockerhoff’s theatre musical Every Woman is a comical treat of tough love and real talk.
The premise is a bridal shower with women of different personalities, desires and experiences talking about motherhood, men, married sex life, sex between queer women- the play really thrives on jokes about intimacy. But it isn’t raunchy- which was good. Brockerhoff made sure to fuse smart, sexy and funny dialogue which made all characters unique and likeable.
With Every Woman being a female-centric piece, it doesn’t ride too much on values of radical feminism- rather, Every Woman a buddy comedy giving the audience touché moments throughout.
The music was nostalgic and performances stellar. Lize Ehlers as the pregnant Ruth opened with a lively, comedic and cute ‘Moenie’ (which she wrote). Grace (Chantell //Uiras) was convincing as the overworked and underpaid assistant and her cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5′ added substance to the character.
Lavinia Kapewasha fit the role of Vivian like a glove- Vivian is cold and bossy but very likeable. She is a broken woman with a harsh take on life- or men in general. Kapewasha’s performance of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ was as dramatic and magnificent as expected.
Brockerhoff as Amanda proved she’s a woman of many talents in her rendition of Madonna’s ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, while Heather ‘Miss H’ Dennis hypnotized in her cover of The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’. The snaps between Amanda and Dennis’s character, Maxine, heated the room as the sexual tension between the two became more and more undeniable.
Bride-to-be, Amelia’s (JD Januarie) post-commitment nerves are perfectly explained in Januarie’s rendition of Cher’s version of ‘The Shoop Shoop Song‘, while Mikiros Garoes elevated the level of nostalgia with Brenda Fassie’s ‘Weekend Special’. Jennifer Timbo who performed a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Am What I Am’ impressed with her hippy character, Mitzy and added more funny moments and flair to piece.
The music gave an enormous boost to the storyline and without it, the dialogue wouldn’t have fared as well as it did, so props to Brockerhoff and Ehlers on making the decision to give each character a song which fits them. Creatively, the piece was perfect as the lighting design accommodated the musical elements and Lila Swanepoel’s set design was done neatly to support the chemistry between the characters.
Every Woman was on stage at the National Theatre of Namibia from 1 to 3 August 2019.