A 24-year-old critically acclaimed play with a title still shocking people in 2020 will return to Whangārei following sold out shows in 2018.

Becky Aud-Jennison is once again producing and directing The Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler which is based on her interviews with more than 200 women.

Aud-Jennison, who also produced the Death Dialogues Project, joked she couldn't have chosen two plays with words people don't want on their storefront windows.

"Vagina and death - both of them [people] are like 'I don't know about this, I'm going to have to ask somebody'," she said.


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But Aud-Jennison said The Vagina Monologues is a moving play which will take you from hysterical laughter to tears.

"We can understand the joy and novelty of discovery, but we also hear about some of the historic abuse and marginalisation and oppression of women. It's a very beautiful presentation to the point where it's received wonderful critical feedback as a piece of work."

The play, which is for mature audiences, is being held as part of V-Day - an international movement started by Ensler which protests violence against women and children.

Aud-Jennison said if The Vagina Monologues is staged during the month of V-Day - February - proceeds must go towards a charity helping women and/or children.

Therefore the proceeds from the Whangārei shows - which are being held on February 13, 14 and 15 at Forum North - will benefit Whangārei Rape Crisis Centre and Tryphina House Women's Refuge.

Becky Aud-Jennison, producer and director of The Vagina Monologues. Photo / John Stone
Becky Aud-Jennison, producer and director of The Vagina Monologues. Photo / John Stone

When the play was staged in Whangārei in 2018, it was held at OneOneSix, which had a seating capacity of 90, and all three shows had sold out. So Aud-Jennison was hoping to see the same at the much larger Capitaine Bougainville Theatre.

"Because of the popularity, we were so fortunate that the district council and Forum North have donated use of the Capitaine Bougainville Theatre which means our charities will - hopefully we'll have packed houses - receive even more money."


The female cast comprises mainly Whangārei actors including Laurel Devenie who plays Kate on Shortland Street, Merlia De Ridder, Georgia-May Russ, Sarah Parker, Kate Broughton and Anna Fermin who is from Chicago.

The theme of V-Day is "raise the vibration" so the evenings will begin with a set from Fermin and a performance by The Spectacles, a local ukulele band.

"Rather than focusing on the negativity and what we have to stop, the theme is about what can we do in an empowering way."

• The Vagina Monologues is for mature audiences and will be performed February 13, 14, 15 at Forum North. Doors open 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased from The Hub (Town Basin), online through Ticketek, or at the box office before shows.