“You don’t wait for the revolution, you make it happen.” This quote from ‘The Woman’ to ‘The Lady’ in And The Girls exemplifies the key differences between the characters in this two-women-play. While waiting in line to buy rice ‘The Lady’ has brought her chair, a seasoned professional at a queuing, she has come prepared. ‘The Woman’, on the other hand, has brought food and water but wants action now, realising both can benefit from each other’s amenities they form an agreement resulting in an unlikely friendship.
What the performance brings to light is not the innate differences between the women, their social class, their childhood, or their fashion sense, but rather what bonds and ties them to one another, namely womanhood. Despite their very different backgrounds the women find similarities through pop-culture references to adverts and songs they can both reminisce and laugh over; as well as more personal experiences from their relationships with men, and those relationship’s sad demise. Much of what links these women’s lives is shared by many South African women, being a part of an aggravating, failing, bureaucratic system which even the girl’s in their Sunday dresses, whom the women so admire, submit to.
With minimal set and scenery this performance can be imagined, removed from its intended setting of South Africa, to anywhere in the world. It tells a truly universal story of friendships and struggles, their highs and lows, and is akin to witnessing the turbulence of a 30-year friendship unfolding in just 90 minutes. It is also a powerful reminder of the global battle for gender equality which is so easy to dismiss and forget from the vantage point of today’s western society.
'The Woman' - Lesego Motsepe and 'The Lady' - Hlengiwe Lushaba bring these characters to life with such vim and vigour the audience is unlikely to forget their performance any time soon. Their quick wit combined with a powerful stage presence had Wednesday night’s audience cackling and howling in their seats, and some even dancing on stage. If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to witness And the Girls you will not be disappointed.