Written & Directed by Terrence Turner
One-woman show Dishonour, written and directed by Terrence Turner, presents audiences with an under-discussed issue: female genital mutilation (FGM). The nature in which tradition is shackled to systemic abuse is remarkable, and the discourse surrounding it as complex as imaginable. Dishonour handles these complexities by telling multiple stories; there’s the tale of a young girl called Babe, her father’s desire to assimilate into western culture, and her aunt’s commitment to patriarchal gender roles.
Mimi Ndiweni excels as Babe, portraying a child who radiates warmth and innocence. She is also remarkable in her ability to weave herself in and out of roles, responding to herself in dialogue sequences and playing several characters at once. As both Babe and Babe’s father, the tenderness she exhibits in their relationship adds to the agony of the story. The ebbing back-and-forth in Olaf Strassner’s cinematography aids with Turner’s traversing of time and location, with the sound design serving a similarly illustrative purpose.
Turner’s production sets out not to shock or disgust but to inform. Dishonour is hard to take at times but certainly makes an impact, exposing viewers to the jarring realities of FGM and presenting the necessary communication that needs to take place to dispel the myths surrounding it. This powerful 40-minute drama, with its well-constructed script and fluid central performance, is essential viewing.
Review published for The Skinny
For further information and tour dates please visit Dishonour’s website.