Return of the monologues that dare not speak their name

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2007, 12:00am

Crystal Kwok Kam-yan's successful Cantonese adaptation and translation of Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues returned last night at the City Hall Theatre.

The sex-talk-show hostess-turned-director has certainly done her part in the past 10 years to break taboos and encourage frank and open discussion about sexuality in Hong Kong.

Looking back, Kwok believes we have come a long way, sometimes even too far.

'I think when I had the talk show, it was a breakthrough in discussing sex,' Kwok (pictured) said.

'But now it's gone to the other extreme, at times, like when I hear news reports of 13-year-old girls experimenting in bed. That's a bit over the top. It's still really conservative here, but then other times the media is so excessive. There's just a lack of education and proper media coverage of sex issues.'

It doesn't help that they couldn't even find a decent word in Chinese for 'vagina' without it being considered obscene or a rude double entendre. As a result, the play kept its English name, although it is performed in Cantonese.

'The censorship is just ridiculous. [The Chinese term for vagina] is a legitimate word, but it's been turned dirty. Then we came up with a slang term, but then people thought it was something dirty. We were even worried that people wouldn't say [the Chinese word for vagina] to buy tickets.'

The Vagina Monologues, which comes with English subtitles, continues until Sunday. For inquires about the play, phone 2793 1123.