Monday, March 20, 2017

Repertory Philippines stages a Victorian sex comedy The Vibrator Play starting March 24

Catch Repertory Philippines, more popularly known as REP, anticipated staging of In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play on March 24 to April 23 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1 Makati City.

The provocative and brilliant comedy about the vibrator, written by multi-awarded playwright Sarah Ruhl, gets you laughing and leaves you moved with genuine emotion, too. At the time when electricity was just discovered, the newly invented electronic vibrator was used to induce orgasms – then called “paroxysms” – to relieve men and women of their so-called hysterical tendencies.

REP’s The Vibrator Play stars Joshua Spafford, the acclaimed actor who on the theater company’s 50th anniversary has #ComeHometoREP. He plays Dr. Givings who specializes in gynecological and hysterical disorders, and treats his patients in his ‘operating theater,’ in other words his home clinic which is right next to their living room.

Giannina Ocampo plays opposite Joshua as Catherine Givings, the good doctor’s unhappy wife who has been neglected for so long, especially in their marital bed. She listens curiously to the sounds and cries coming from the patients with absolutely no idea of what goes on in the next room. When Dr. Givings refuses to administer the treatment on her, Catherine takes matters into her own hands. 

Caisa Borromeo as Sabrina Dauldry and Giannina Ocampo as Catherine Givings

Set in 1880’s New York, this Tony-nominated production explores the realities of marriage, the nature of intimacy, passion, true love and yes, orgasms. “This is a comedy that shifts gears,” says director Chris Millado. “One moment it’s about how the vibrator was used for curing hysteria and this is where you’ll see Caisa Borromeo as Sabrina Daldry feeling wonderful after her so-called treatment. Then it switches and shows the reality of how women were subjected to a kind of physical and emotional neglect during that era, which is seen through Catherine.”

Chris continues, “It’s my first time to encounter the work of Sarah Ruhl.  I saw a Filipino production of Eurydice and the writing style was totally different. The issues of technology, intimacy and gender appealed to me as something that contemporary audiences might resonate with.” 

Giannina Ocampo as Catherine Givings and Joshua Spafford as Dr. Givings

Though it is a comedy, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play is based on historical fact and the use of the vibrator during the 19th century is well-documented in this piece. The story sheds light on the absence of sympathy and understanding between women and the men who seem to rule-over and control society even so far as a woman’s right to her body, thoughts and intimacy.

Chris thinks audiences will enjoy the production as part of REP’s 50th anniversary line-up. “We hope that REP’s version elicits different kinds of laughter – not just the “haha” kind but the awkward one, the wistful, the “aha!” that’s-a-thought kind, and the nervous laughter. It’s going to be a thinking comedy. REP’s The Vibrator Play is definitely a must-watch especially with Jef Flores, Hans Eckstein, Cara Barredo and Tami Monsod in the cast.

Don’t miss this much-anticipated production that will surely give you, as double entendres go, a pleasurable experience.

For inquiries, you may call REP at 843.3570, and Ticketworld at 891.9999 or log on to For updates and show schedules, log on to, like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram, and follow @repphils on Twitter. 

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