Beauty is Prison-Time
Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that events are still happening.
‘Win contest is like beauty ticket to out,’ enthuses Lyudmilla, as she prepares for a prison beauty pageant and, hopefully, her freedom. As she sews her glittering costume, Zoe Mavroudi’s monologue retraces the steps that led a smart girl from Minsk into an empty prison cell.
Writer Mavroudi performs her text with instinctive understanding, adjusting her voice and demeanour with skilful nuance. She’s wide-eyed when recalling her slide into prostitution, fierce when discussing her daughter and hauntingly naive in her hope for escape.
It is a delicately ensnaring performance but the text’s grip is less firm. The monologue occurs mainly outside prison and, despite its harrowing content, settles down into a relatively straightforward narrative of an innocent girl, undone.