By Amanda Monfrooe
In a vain contest for authority, two women enslave the living world in a parade of individual power and dominance. Like goddesses of the ancient world they conjure and control nature, confident of their own supremacy. But their fantasy of power is undermined by the reality of their collapsing world – forcing the women to reconcile, or die…
Playing with the parallel between the escalating sexual violence and continued destruction of the environment which has marked the first decade of the 21st century, this brand new work witnesses a battle of power between two goddesses of the natural world, both using their different powers to try and dominate the other.
POKE was collaboratively devised, and directed and written by Amanda Monfrooe as part of The Behaviour Festival 2013. It was awarded The Arches Platform 18 Award for New Directors and was performed at The Arches, Glasgow and The Traverse, Edinburgh in April/ May 2013.
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Reviews for POKE
In a not-too-distant future, in a not-so-mythical land, rape by men controls the female populace, keeping them as enemies, separate entities. This is defined as ‘the great madness’. Women are dying out and the two survivors left (Claire Willoughby and Lesley Asare – both fantastic) have to work together to start again with a baby girl on the way: how to rebuild and protect the child?….. Not comfortable viewing then, and nor should it be. There are no easy antidotes to misogyny and a brutal show like this won’t be for everyone, but Monfroee is one of the most important voices in theatre today: inventive, intuitive and aware… Amanda Monfroee is the real deal, and Poke is vital.
Across the Arts
…thought provoking… the concept is incredibly relevant… an intense piece of theatre
…highly thought provoking… Monfrooe has taken risks for which she ought to be commended.
Monfrooe bills the story as an allegory… there are two parallel speeches, poetic and emotionally raw, that are shocking in their contrast. One is about consensual sex, the other about a rape. Their power puts everything else in the shade.