Regina Monologues at Divadlo Kampa

The tale of the six wives of Henry VIII is seen form the female perspective

We all know a little bit about the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. A modern play looks at the situation from the wives' point of view. Regina Monologues will be performed May 4, 5 and 6 at Divadlo Kampa by Eesk Theatre Company. It will be presented in English with Czech surtitles.

The same group last year presented Castro's Beard, a Cold War comedy.

In this modern version of the historical tale, six women describe their marriage to a man called Henry. “Their lives are both separate yet connected as they talk about their marriage; the pressure to give birth to a son, miscarriages, love affairs, betrayal, and a shared hate of all things colored ginger. The women reveal their stories with humor, pathos and a great deal of wine,” the description of the play states.

The title Regina Monologues is a pun on Vagina Monologues, which was a popular play when Regina Monologues was written, director Brian Stewart told Prague.TV.

The play was written by two women: Rebecca Russell and Jenny Wafer and was first performed in 2004. Since then it has been played regularly around the world.

“It is a popular play for women to perform because it deals with issues that occur in all relationships and marriages. Love, betrayal, anger, disappointment and childbirth. In addition, it a series of cleverly cut together monologues with a rich mixture of comedy and tragedy that allows the audience to follow the path of their individual, yet common, relationships with the same man, Henry; it is a great showcase for actresses, too,” Stewart says.

“As the writer Rebecca Russell says in her intro, although the stories of the real queens happened 500 years ago, the issues referred to above are still very current,” he says.

The women in the play, apart from the young Katie who is forced to marry an older man since it may help her father's business, all wanted to be married to the man — and for some of them, they still want to be married to him because they still love him, Stewart explains.

The cast comprises six actresses: two each from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the US. “It is a great mix of international actresses, and they deliver outstanding performances. When we created Eesk Theatre Company, our philosophy was that it should be as inclusive and open as possible. We hold open auditions in the hope that we can give an opportunity to unknown (by that I mean the expat community) actors and actresses in Prague,” Stewart adds.

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