So Many Reasons review

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Rachael Ofori’s warm feminist monologue headlines the CPT’s Calm Down Dear festival

Vagina. Jesus. Jesus. Vagina. Behind Racheal Ofori’s head, a tangled of neon tubes alternates between the symbols of her two shared callings. Or, those of her character, Melissa. Her monologue, ‘So Many Reasons’, which headlines the CPT’s feminist festival Calm Down Dear, is a story of a girl trapped between a Christian home and a sex-obsessed world. It’s not always subtle, but it glows with warmth.

Ofori’s performance is structured as a series of anecdotes or memories: from the time she won the primary school running race, to her twenty-something quest to enjoy sex. She delivers them in intensely physical, entrancing style, twisting her body into the precarious, angular shape of a pre-teen sprinter, or launching herself equally furiously at fit men on the dancefloor.

The other people, the family members and schoolfriends in her coming-of-age story feel just as real: she puffs and preens as a playground mean girl, or conjures up the warmth of her Ghanaian mother’s baffling opaque life advice. Her approach gives a freshness to material that can feel a little familiar. The gawky-girl-discovering-sex story is one that’s got a lot of mileage over the past few years, from Caitlin Moran’s books to Michaela Coel’s TV series ‘Chewing Gum’.

What distinguishes Ofori’s approach is her gentleness: it’s bittersweet, rather than grotesque, focusing on capturing a girl and the two cultures she lives between. And although it doesn't exactly surge with the furious feminist energy you might find elsewhere on Calm Down Dear’s line-up, it’s still bound to strike all the right notes with a millennial audience.

By: Alice Saville



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