The Woman Who Would Be King (what an irresistible title!) gives a magical peek into an unequal and wildly decadent world, starting with a fantastical creation story and ending with a seemingly hopeless battle for freedom from the tyranny of sexism and inequality. Sound familiar?
But this is Ancient Egypt, a mysterious place far far from the Alexander Bar, where The Woman Who Would Be King is showing until Saturday April 30. The themes resonate with the struggles between men and women, commoners and royalty gripping our own little civilization but it is never dark or depressing.
This one-woman play, written and performed by Esosa E, is inspired by the life of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh. A fictional account of the journey to the throne of this leading lady who came before Cleopatra, Nefertiti and Joan of Arc unfolds in a very entertaining 65 mins. The mixture (about 9-parts magic, 1-part history) is totally absorbing.
All characters are very skillfully played by the very sensual and gorgeous Esosa E. Beauty and talent aside, the style of going backwards and forwards is one that might drive all but the most dedicated Wimbledon fans just a little crazy.
Hatshepsut is known as one of the first great women in history, according to Egyptologists, but the sweeping conclusion that so many of our struggles and victories can be traced back to this story is a bit of a stretch. But, hey (presto!), why not just suspend disbelief for a moment and dream a little dream. It is the Alexander Bar after all.
Dramaturgy by Magda Romanska, direction by Wynne Bredenkamp.