By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston
Relocating around the limitations of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable indicates akin to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist probabilities of new burlesque and stand-up, this publication bargains a lucid and available account of renowned feminisms in modern theatre and function.
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Additional info for A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
Ultimately, the show represents the women’s new found sense of liberation as a balancing act between a reparative attachment to femininity (conceived to embrace rather than abject older women’s bodies), and a rejuvenation of the value in identifying and acting as a women’s community. As Annie and Chris are reconciled, so the balance of the group is restored. The women repeat the t’ai chai sequence, now perfectly executed, and, scenically, the stage opens up one last time to John’s hill. In a moment of pure theatricality the women raise (by hand) sunflowers in the painted green landscape and stand among them.
6 26 A Good Night Out for the Girls The gendered note of dismissal is also struck by the descriptor ‘sentimental’ that adjectivally attaches to the show in many of the national and regional reviews. Sentimentality, as Deborah Knight observes, is ‘usually treated as “a term assessing fault,” whether with respect to a work of art or literature . . or the individual who responds sentimentally to art’ (2000: 411). e. conservative) view of sentimentality in philosophical frames of thinking, she exposes how this posits sentimentality as ‘a womanish – and at the end of the day, a sluttish – attitude: indulgent, cheap, shallow, self-absorbed, excessive’ (ibid: 418).
The huge somewhat prurient attraction of the photo shoot is that it is performed live. Liveness allows for the audience to experience the thrill of being in the moment of the calendar making. The scene excites in the same way that a high-wire circus or dangerous knifejuggling act does, where the danger and thrill is in seeing how and whether the actresses pull this off. As actress Siân Philips (Jessie, in the original Chichester cast) commented: ‘You don’t need a good body to be in this play, but you do need to be a whiz with props, given that we are responsible for preserving our own modesty.