The colorful paroxysms in Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room.

There are three kinds of people. Those who use umbrellas when it is not raining; those who do not use umbrellas even when it is raining; and those who use umbrellas only and precisely while it rains. Which kind are you, Mr. Daldry?
– Mrs. Givings

Sarah Ruhl just wowed me again after seeing Eurydice a few weeks ago, and this time, Repertory Philippines bring another insightful, funny, and rich in thought as it is in feeling – In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play.

REP In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play (9)

Set in the Victorian era where women are ignorant or shall I say forbidden to experience certain emotions like of female sexual desire, motherhood, breastfeeding, and jealousy, In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play will give you ohhs and aahhs of different feelings. It also showed subtle scenes on lesbian, gay, forbidden and unrequited love.

Dr. Givings and Catherine Givings

In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play is a Victorian sex comedy that shifts gears, on the one hand showing the medical procedure-only purpose of the vibrator, but then exposes the reality of how women endured physical and emotional neglect in a male-dominated society.

At the dawn of electricity in 1880’s New York, gynecological and hysterical disorder expert Dr. Givings, played by New York-based actor and director, and returning Repper Joshua Spafford, uses the newly invented electronic vibrator to induce orgasms – then called “paroxysms” – and relieve men and women of their so-called hysterical tendencies. All the action happens in his ‘operating theater,’ in other words his home clinic which is right next to their living room.

Giannina Ocampo plays Catherine Givings, the lonely and unhappy wife of the good doctor. Catherine listens curiously to the sounds and cries coming from the patients because she has absolutely no idea what goes on in the next room. She has not experienced the ‘treatment’ herself because of her husband’s refusal, the reason he gives is that she isn’t neurotic like his other patients. Her frustration and sadness is aggravated by the fact that she could not produce enough milk for her newborn baby, and so she and her husband resorted to hiring a wet nurse to help.

Coldly neglected by her husband, Catherine has never experienced his touch in their marital bed. When she sees how the anxious and depressed Sabrina Daldry, played by Caisa Borromeo, looking so calm, happy and relieved after being administered ‘treatment,’ Catherine is forced to take matters into her own hands.

REP In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play (21)

This Tony-nominated production explores the realities of marriage, the nature of intimacy, passion, true love and yes, orgasms.

REP’s anticipated production is directed by theater veteran Chris Millado (Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines). Rounding up the powerhouse cast are Cara Barredo, Hans Eckstein, Jef Flores and Tami Monsod.

Catch REP’s In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play from March 24 to April 23 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

For inquiries, you may call REP at 843.3570, and Ticketworld at 891.9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph

 

 

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