Natural born performer Jo Stemmet will take to the stage at the Alexander Playhouse to deliver a hard-hitting live show that taps into the heart and soul of womanhood.
The production opens today and runs to tomorrow.
Stemmet said the show, simply called Woman, was her compilation of a set of monologues, songs and poetry recitals, which delve into the essence of womanhood and will be bringing a “refreshing look at what society needs to remember and nurture about women”.
Stemmet said the play was initially produced for her Associate Diploma in Performing Arts with Trinity College in London.
She has since reworked it to a 90-minute cabaret tapping into the “hardships and struggles women battle with”.
The play is largely inspired by Eve Ensler’s book The Vagina Monologue.
Stemmet said it would include monologue moulded around the book, as well as renditions from Sylvia Plath and Maya Angelou, and newly written material.
Together, she added, it will form a kaleidoscope of songs, words and movement that will “take the audience on a special journey through the facts and fiction about the female sex”.
A portion of the play will also delve into issues of body image, fat shaming as well as other micro-aggressions towards the female body.
Stemmet said the play was sparked by the recent trends of rape and abuse towards women.
Having seen those close to her go through this themselves, she said rape and abuse had been “happening for a long time”.
“We’re just more aware of it now. The more you see it, the more shocking it gets. A lot of the women remain faceless as their cases go unreported,” she said.
Stemmet has a long history with theatre as a musician and performing artist, but this is her time doing a drama-inspired piece on her own.
“The content is for a mature audience. It is upfront, unsugarcoated and brutally honest.”
She will be working with other East London-based artists, the majority of them novices, but who she says are “extremely talented and hold important parts in the play”.
She encourages men to also attend the play in order for them to “understand, accept and embrace womanhood too”.
“Each person will find something that resonates with them, but the strongest message I’d like each member to get is that women are incredibly strong, extremely beautiful, and need to be celebrated.”
Stemmet has partnered with Pieter Taljaard as the director of the sensual show.
Audience members are invited to bring food and drinks along to the Alexander Playhouse today and tomorrow evening from 7pm. Tickets are R90 per person, available from Lee Gold Music.
lTicket sales will go towards a local charity supporting victims of domestic violence.