A Woman Alone: A bold play on marital rape

A Woman Alone, directed by Arvind Gaur, is a bold description of marital rape and female subjugation.

An adaptation of an Italian play by the same name, the act was written by political activists and theatre artists Dario Fo and Franca Rame.

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The play begins on a very happy note with a housewife Sharon saying: ‘’I have a mixie, an air conditioner, a microwave and so on …I am a very happy woman.” Actually these are sarcastic statements, which the audience will come to know only later. Despite living in the lap of affluence, she is not a happy woman. When the play begins she is seen dancing freely and lasciviously to peppy Bollywood songs. Initially, it looks like the protagonist is a happy, confident woman, but soon things change for the worse. The story is basically a narration of the oppressed domestic life of a woman. Stuck between a toddler, an abusive husband, a perverted brother-in-law, a stalker, and a blackmailing boyfriend, Sharon, played by Neha Garg, is in the simplest of terms an oppressed woman. She describes the various facets of her trauma in the form of gossip, storytelling, and comedy.

There are many scenes that vividly document the ugly reality of issues like marital rape and domestic abuse. While these scenes can be triggering and heart wrenching, there are a few reassuring moments where Sharon displays admirable grit and strength.

An hour-long play enacted solely by Neha as the protagonist, the play is emotionally draining and exhilarating.  Sharon’s struggles of being groped, humiliated, harassed, hurt, of having her agency and free will ripped away from her, of being cheated blackmailed and all the emotional turmoil will leave the audience with endless questions on the mindset of the society. It is a representation of how women today are trapped in what is assumed to be their responsibility towards their households and families.

It is the tale of a woman who was crushed and defeated by society’s hatred for women, hatred of their choices, their sexuality, their desire to grow, their desire to create their own identity is not recognised. Her beautiful and unending role as someone’s partner, mother, and daughter are not appreciated.

Neha Garg playing the central role has outdone herself in this piece of art that is nothing short of a masterpiece. Her voice, her persona, and her fearless personality all make the play an iconic tale of a woman crushed by the things and people she thought loved her.

Talking to indusscrolls.com, Neha said her own struggles as a woman were not different. It is the story of the whole womankind, she added.

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