We live in a world where many of the most celebrated books, television, and film do not do justice to their female characters, if there are female characters at all. Countless classic works present women characters who do not have a voice or agency in their own stories.
More than simply exploring these themes, which it does both beautifully and thought provokingly, “Lolita, Daisy, Ophelia: A Love Story” shows by example how not to be such work. This is a play devised, written, and acted by three women. It tells the story of three women through three captivating and magnetic performances. It allows for these three characters—Lolita from “Lolita”, Daisy from “The Great Gatsby”, and Ophelia from “Hamlet”— to break out of the confines of male narratives and, finally, use their own voices to speak their truths.
What I found most powerful about Lolita, Daisy, Ophelia: A Love Story was how much I could relate to the three characters on stage. Both times that I have seen it the play has caused me to reflect on the ways in which I as a woman feel trapped in society in the way Lolita, Daisy, and Ophelia feel trapped in their stories. Both times I found myself fantasizing about how incredibly liberating it would be to occupy a space such as the three characters in this show, completely free.
Ultimately, Lolita, Daisy, and Ophelia must go back to their stories, just like how the women of the audience have to return to the world that wrote those characters once the play finishes. Yet, like the three characters of Lolita, Daisy, Ophelia: A Love Story, I leave feeling like I have new tools to face it. This is not an experience to be missed.