Review Hoes, Hampstead Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Hoes written by Ifeyinwa Frederick and directed by Lakesha Arie-Angelo is about three sensational, charismatic ladies who explore an exotic holiday out in Ibiza. You depict an exact insight into how it feels to be attractive, young, wild and free with a flamboyant nature; played brilliantly by Areatha Ayeh, Marieme Diouf and Nicola Maisie Taylor. Their holiday is a getaway from all stress, work related ties, repetition, relationship restrictions, family complications and disorientation. Hysterically anytime the character J was caught using her work phone, she needed to donate at least a quid, this was because she made an oath she wasn’t going to indulge in business related enquires until she arrived back home, so when she’s caught there’s cash to be handed over.

The character Bim makes it clear she’s on holiday to let her hair down, drink like there’s no tomorrow, take shots for breakfast, cure hangovers with more alcohol, party every night and cater to her thirsty vagina, as sex has no limits. As a female she declares there’s no shame if you want to enjoy the fun, erotic nature of sexual intercourse, be intimate with whomever you’re attracted to, and dress as provocatively as you please to flaunt your curves and your treasured assets.

Bim highlights that woman should embrace the divine beauty given to womanly Goddesses, and therefore shouldn’t feel ashamed to do as they please with their body. The audience had taken a strong liking to the character Bim as she is shamelessly hysterical, constantly throwing sexual innuendos, loud, and not afraid to speak her mind. Bim is an example of a confident, sassy alcoholic guru who’s a freak in the bedroom and straight class on the streets.

All three girls appear free spirited and high spirited twenty-four hours of the day, so it was concerning when occasionally character Bim would present characteristics of emotional disorder, anxiety, depression with abusive threatening swings at herself when she was solo in the room, unaccompanied. She would then suddenly transition, putting on a façade, smile impulsively, continuing to amuse and entertain simultaneously and disguise how upset, unsettled and anxious she internally felt when her friends were around, until they walk in on her startled by what they witness.

Hoes is a testament of resilience, exposure and the power of freedom. The production was set as a bedroom and smoothly transitioned to convey various scenes of them waking up from a night out with a hangover and getting ready prior to a wild night, fitting into dresses, pampering their faces and pre-drinking. All the scenes were extremely tight and epic, continuously spiralling new elements that were gripping, funny, relatable and incredibly moving.

Hoes is themed around women empowerment, mental health, value of single-hood and sisterhood, compassion, deeper understanding of self, feeling powerless, difficulties of being in a relationship and feeling you’re missing out and the crucial factors of support. Writer Ifeyinwa Frederick’s had mentioned her debut play focuses on the insecurities of women today. Elements within her playwright root from conflicting perspectives she has seen and identified, which encouraged her to elaborate on it. Hoes is a meaningful expression of minds and attitude existing in the nineteenth century, a very well put together and constructed play.

Tanica Psalmist

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