Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Do you remember the outfit you wore at...?

Ask a woman what she wore at, say, a wedding 20 years ago and she will be able to give you the exact outfit including shoes and accessories

Ask a woman what she wore at, say, a wedding 20 years ago and she will be able to give you the exact outfit including shoes and accessories.

Ask a man what he wore yesterday and he won't have a clue ? although it will probably be what he wore the day before and indeed the week before.

You think I exaggerate? No, although us blokes don't get it possibly in the same way as our womenfolk don't get our epic drinking or sporting feats - and we can always recount those, can't we?

So, Love, Loss And What I wore at The Mill this late summer is an entertainment for the ladies and an education for the men - although, from the Y-chromosome side, it might feel a bit like we've stumbled into a film in Ukrainian with no subtitles.

Bear in mind that this is written by a man and I've had to put it through my wife as an interpreter. I think I've got close to it.

Every garment has a memory attached and every memory an outfit in this frequently funny, often inconsequential but important, and occasionally sad series of stories dramatised by five actresses.

The script is from the Ephron Sisters and follows the style of the Vagina Monologues. Apparently they wanted it called something along the lines of Not The Vagina Monologues because there are no...let's not overuse the word! Anyway, they had to call it this instead.

What we have is a fast-moving series of experiences starting from early childhood and ending in old age taking in excitable journeys at one end, through loves, marriages, failures and successes, to the problems of growing old with a body which now needs to hide in the outfits rather than be highlighted by them.

The embarrassment of the first bra for instance, the embarrassment of suddenly menstruating into a paper dress - very absorbant we're told.

The dress worn on the night of virginity loss, marriage break up, boots worn when sexually assaulted, a shirt which became the embodiment of a failed relationship, the clothes worn when about to go through a mastectomy. All of this is delivered with wit and energy - except where it would not be appropriate.

Watch out for a particularly entertaining skit on handbags, or purses as they're called in this American script. All of this is delivered in a series of performances which range from very good to excellent. They carry virtually the entire story with help from some very well-timed video/picture projections.

The fact is that women talk about clothes and relate to them in a way that most men don't. Overheard chat in the coffee shops is often about clothes seen, bought, planned or worn and often about other womens' outfits. Men, mostly, don't do this, we have other trivialities to detain us.

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