By Laurie Scarborough
Sue Diepeveen’s gutsy new one-woman show took the stage earlier this week at the lovely Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West. An ambitious project, she had her work cut out for her when only six weeks ago, she got the go ahead from the theatre that the space was hers if she wanted it.
Sue looked into buying two plays but they had recently been done, so she made the brave move to write an original work and took the plunge to put on her first solo performance.
The piece focuses around Marie, a married woman who finds herself in a financial crisis and needs a way out. She’s not trained to do much and can’t find a job, and she has little to do with possessions so she decides what she needs is a new husband: a rich husband. She sets out to make herself attractive to such a man and a set of hilarious scenes that illustrate what a desperate woman with no money would do to make herself beautiful by today’s glossy magazine standards.
First a simple enough step: heels. Then padding her bra with chicken fillets and socks. Then using plasters to stick up her face in a faux botox and then mother of all comedy moments cling-wrapping her legs to get a thigh gap and hobbling around the stage with her legs stuck together in heels. Some choice moments for sure.
While a large portion of the piece was about Marie there were also vignettes of other characters that added to the story. There was even a bonafide trophy wife. With these sub characters Sue flitted between characters and accents with ease.
While there were definitely comedic moments, there was also an underlying dramatic warning of the piece that was highlighted towards the end about the dangers of objectifying women and what effect that can have on society.
I think that overall the work was very brave and ambitious, especially considering the short timespan that it was all put together. It could do with some polish and the eye of a beady director, but Sue did such a good job by herself and there is a great deal of potential in the raw material.
There are rumours that Sue will be taking this to the Cape Town Fringe under the guidance of a director and she may bring it to a Cape Town theatre. If this is the case I would recommend it to anyone wanting to see a though-provoking and at times, funny, piece.