Told from the point of view of psychoanalyst, Tessa (Monica Dolan), The B*easts poses a poignant question to the audience: what happens when an eight year old gets breast implants?
We are told the story through the eyes of Karen, mother to Laila. From a very young age, Laila expresses the relentless desire to have bigger breasts, pushing her mother further and further until she gives in and, at eight years old, whisks her off to Brazil for the procedure. What unfolds is not what anyone expected and Tessa is left to explain the social and emotional implications the decision has and the impact it makes on society.
Dolan plays her part of the stressed, overworked psychoanalyst well, posing a variety of questions (and sometimes answers) to the audience. When faced with this situation – and given the opportunity to judge or reflect on how Karen could have acted differently or whether she was wrong at all – the play cleverly opens up the subject of sexuality and ownership of our bodies in and society’s attitudes to them.
The B*easts is creative in its portrayal of the subject matter, creating an engaging and thoroughly thought provoking performance that dives into sexuality, women’s rights, children’s rights and our own identity head on, leaving nothing glossed over. You’ll find yourself debating and discussing long after the show’s end.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Picture: Alan Harris
The B*easts, Underbelly Cowgate, Aug 11-27 (not 14), 6pm