I felt special at the talk Eve Ensler gave at the Baxter yesterday. I felt special that I was part of an invited audience. I felt special that I am very close to the SA producer, my sister-in-law, Gina Shmukler. I felt special because I knew so many of the gorgeous women of every description who were there. (I felt special because many, many industry people were so kind to me and whispered sweet words of solidarity with me in my ear, after my turgid time on the interwebs over the last two weeks.)
I loved sitting in the theatre and listening to the conversation flow between Eve, a most crazily lovable creative activist, playwright, performer and human female person, and Kgomotso Matsuyane, an articulate, charming, funny, warm, intelligent and generous host, who had clearly done great homework and met Eve with love and respect. Cape Town is the perfect place for this type of conversation to happen, with its collection of spirits quite comfortable with tapping into the personal political energetic. (It’s not for everyone, I know, and I have heard that Jozi was a tougher crowd).
It was quite clear during the Q&A afterwards that people had responded to Eve in that deeply personal way, and related to the bits of her story (she was there to promote her book about her cancer and recovery) that had resonance and relevance to them. And it was the same for me, on a completely personal and specific level. I was intrigued and moved by a lot of her story but the thing I hooked onto (and right now I accidentally typed thin instead of thing!) was coming back into my body. She spoke about being disconnected from our bodies and that for her, getting sick brought her back into her body. For me, I have returned to my body after losing 17kgs. I have rediscovered my body after ignoring it and its/my needs. I have fallen in love with my body in a profound and deep way. I have reconnected with my physical self and it has changed my relationship with myself, others, and how I am in the world. I cried a lot during Eve’s chat. Crying is also me being in my body.
So, I had the experience that everyone looks for in a theatre yesterday. Communion with the audience, and with the ‘performers’. Catharsis. Connection with the self. Change. Understanding. Enlightenment. Looking back at all of those gigantic things it seems unrealistic. But it isn’t. Thanks Eve, and all who worked to bring that magical conversation to us.
Eve’s extraordinary play Emotional Creature is on next week. I am urging you to find a young person and take them. It will transform you and them.