(Above: ‘Independence Day’ / V-Day remix.)

This is the second time that ‘The Vagina Monologues‘ have been produced in Phnom Penh. The first time out, it sounded like an NGO workshop: by foreign women, in a foreign space, for a foreign audience. I gave it a miss.

And I was a little skeptical as things got moving for this second staging, the production came together quite well. This time around, the crew brought the show back to its roots as theatre, and did a great job with publicity and marketing, raising money for ‘Women Peacemakers’.

Last night’s opening was great fun and included The Messenger Band as openers. And it was a pleasant surprise to see so many women I knew assisting with the presentation – or onstage.  Go team!


I view this much like a Phnom Penh Players production: primarily expat-produced, for an English-speaking audience, but sharing its profits and enthusiasm with the local community.

I think for the next showing, more ways will be explored to tell local stories, as per the ‘Monaco Option’.  (If the establishment saw fit to criticize the recent opera, you can only imagine what they might think of a full Khmer-language production of such an explicit show.)

Cambodia has made great strides to combat HIV, which meant a lot more open dialogue about sex. It wouldn’t be too far a reach to extend dialogue further, regarding the issue of violence against women.

All told, a provocative and worthwhile evening.

Tickets: (Foreign $12, Cambodians $6) can be purchased at Java Café, Rubies and Khmer Surin. Remaining performances Saturday and Sunday at 7:30pm at Khmer Surin (South Gate).

Project Blog: http://www.cambodianmonologues.blogspot.com/
What’s On Listing: http://www.sangsalapak.org.kh/whatson/2009/04/vagina-monologues-in-cambodia.html
The Global V-Day Movement: http://www.vday.org


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