“I’ll tell you what’s unnatural. Forcing a cock into a woman’s cunt!”
These are the heated words that Charlie Browning, a character played by Mojisola Adebayo, yells halfway through a new theatre and dance collaboration at the Ovalhouse Theatre, I Stand Corrected. The production sees two of Africa’s most renowned performers, the critically acclaimed Danish-Nigerian playwright, Mojisola Adebayo, and Mamela Nyamza (recently named by Oprah Magazine as one of the top 25 women in the world) come together to create a fiery, mesmerizing artistic response to the dialogue that is taking place around so called corrective ‘hate’ rape in South Africa and the anti-gay marriage lobbyism in the UK.
I Stand Corrected is a simultaneously beautiful and sorrowful tale about love. It is an honest narration of the story of two black African lesbian lovers wanting to marry each other with fatal results. In my last post I wrote about the pressure the marriage institution has on African women and the show made me reflect over the way this patriarchal pressure manifests beyond the limits of heterosexuality, while limiting lesbian women from fulfilling their vows, and working in brutal ways to ostracise people.
The opening performance received a deserved standing ovation, this was an audience that had laughed, sang, cried and interacted with the story in captivating ways. There was no post-theatre chatter after the curtains closed, instead guests gathered themselves in contemplative, touched silence.
Unfortunately the topic matter in I Stand Corrected is not fictitious but a harsh reality. Only last week, another hate murder of a woman named Sihle took place and the Triangle Project estimate around ten hate rapes of lesbians take place each week in South Africa. In the UK lobbying over gay marriage continues to intensify.
If you are one for an evocative performance – think anger, joy, tears, humour, awe, irony and hope – as well as a powerful protest performance at that then you should without a doubt catch I Stand Corrected. Showing from 20th November – 8th December at Ovalhouse.
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