“Lady Macbeth and her Pal, Megan”; A Review

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Van Faust-Stephenson | vfauststephenso@radford.edu

It’s March, so that means that it is Women’s History Month, and Radford University is taking part in the festivities with activities hosted by the Women’s Studies Club.

One of these activities was the two-night showing of the one-woman play Lady Macbeth and her Pal Megan, written and performed by comedian and playwright, Megan Gogerty.

Lady Macbeth and her Pal Megan is a comedic look back on Gogerty’s career as a comedian, as well as a way of portraying the struggles of women in comedy, especially after changes made to the play after the 2016 presidential election.

As Gogerty said during her talk-back after the show, “The play changed when the world changed.”

The title of the play is a bit of a misleading one, as the play isn’t actually a retelling of Macbeth from Lady Macbeth’s point of view or even that much about Macbeth in general.

Instead, the title is more indicative of several references Gogerty makes throughout the show to the play, comparing her entering her career as a comedian to the life and death of Lady Macbeth, and then later the characters of the witches.

Though it is not required, a basic knowledge of Macbeth is recommended going into the play.

Gogerty plays an exaggerated version of herself, only known as Megan; with this exaggerated persona comes large movements and has her hamming it up on stage, which works surprisingly well for the story she is trying to tell.

Writing and performing a comedy, especially one with strong undertones on sexism and sexual assault, can be a job where everyone can notice if something is done right, but it is hard to see the small things that are done well.

The play starts pretty slow, but you are hooked in before you realize it. There’s no moment of gut-busting comedy early on, but you slowly feel yourself laughing more as it goes on and getting surprisingly engrossed in the story.

Most of the play’s second act is about Gogerty’s story of starting comedy and the sexism that is inherent in it; to paraphrase a joke, no matter what demographic a comedian is, as long as they are male, they will have jokes about dicks.

Gogerty is an energetic actor, twisting and twirling around the stage for the entirety of the play. As well, Gogerty is a great actress when it comes to conveying emotional scenes; though, these scenes usually jump right back into comedy, giving the play a bit of mood whiplash. Her interaction with the props, though few there are, is subtlety amazing.

In all, Lady Macbeth and her Pal, Megan is not what I thought it would be going in. In fact, as I began to realize it was a one-person play, my excitement fell a little.

However, as I watched more, I began to realize that this was more entertaining than it would be if it was a Macbeth retelling or even had more than one person on stage.

Megan Gogerty is a great comedian and playwright with several other shows, such as Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant and Save Me, Dolly Parton available online now, with Lady Macbeth and her Pal, Megan joining them … as soon as Gogerty gets tired of performing it.

More works by Megan Gogerty are available online at www.megangogerty.com.

Photo Credit: (megangogerty.com)