I was told that writers never watch their own plays. They’re supposed to sit at the bar and drink during the show, but there was no way I could do that. As the lights went down I picked up my gin and snuck into the back row.
And had a really good time!
What I loved about the play, apart from the fabulous actress and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, was the audience.
They started off a little quietly, unsure whether to laugh or not, and then once Violet had said her first ‘cunt’, they started giggling. Then laughing, then roaring and the man in front of me actually choked.
He was old, it may have been a heart attack and maybe it ended in death, but at least he went smiling.
The audience had fun. You could see women elbowing men, as if to say, ‘this could be us.’ And women elbowing each other because they identified with the stories or recognised the men that Violet talks about.
As soon as the show ended I ran to the bathroom. A woman ran in behind me. While I was fixing my lipstick she opened her phone, downloaded a dating app and said – ‘Thanks, Violet, I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.’
Yay for her!
And afterwards, everyone shared their stories. Not only women but men too. Violet seemed to have given a platform for older people to talk honestly about dating, love and sex.
It’s a little bit like Fifty Shades of Grey. It was a terrible book (I read all three, obviously) but it made erotica, sex and BDSM permissible. It made it, in South Africa anyway, okay to read and talk about these things, publicly.
The highlight for me was the man at the end of the show who I met at the bar.
‘Good evening’, he said, while signalling the barman. ‘What’s your name?’
‘Violet’, I replied, completely poker-faced.
‘That’s a lovely name’, he said. ‘ Barman, give me a drink. I hate the fucking theatre.’
Lynita Crofford plays Violet.
Directed by Megan Furniss. Auto and General Theatre on the Square, Sandton. 011 – 883 8606. On till 7 Nov.