Some Kind of Weasel
It is tempting to describe Some Kind of Weasel as blurring the line between stand-up and theatre. This would be inaccurate as Jenny Stafford’s chatty monologue is based upon a collection of humorous essays written in quarantine.
The end of a relationship shakes Stafford’s confidence. What if she is not, as her former partner claimed, a gazelle but some kind of weasel? Alone in her apartment, Stafford descries the bizarre rituals she adopted as a means of determining whether she should end the relationship and fantasises about the type of greeting card that might be suitable for such occasions. She describes her most recent dates and considers if she has anything in common with women who attend parties where admission requires they bring along a pair of knickers that reflect their relationship to the host.
Stafford’s crisis of confidence did not start with the relationship break-up. She avoids using the name ‘Janet Stafford’ for fear of confusion with a dominatrix of the same name who has a most unusual way of exercising her profession.
Director Penny Cole sets an intimate mood as if the audience has dropped around to Stafford’s flat for a chat. Stafford wanders around, chucking greeting cards here and there, as if caught off-guard by an unexpected visitor.
The humour in Some Kind of Weasel is low-key and observational rather than judgemental. Stafford questions whether she might be the odd one out even when this is clearly not the case. One of Stafford’s friends brings a gift of practical sex-aids (wet wipes and detergents) to a bachelorette party; which may be a responsible gesture, but it does rather spoil the mood.
The monologue may initially seem meandering, yet Stafford is able to draw together apparently disparate stories to illustrate her theme of how we might have more in common than anticipated. Stafford sees the choices made by the people she meets—whether knitting sex toys or limited by circumstances—as a cause for celebration simply because they are doing what they want.
This is an eccentric but very funny monologue making viewers conclude Jenny Stafford is far more than just a weasel.
Reviewer: David Cunningham