The Vagina Monologues: Ex-EastEnder Kim Medcalf
You've appeared once in
The Vagina Monologues
before – what brings you back?
People said, "It's unlike anything else" and it is, it's truly an amazing feeling. We had packed houses, generally full of women – a few men were brave enough to come. It was such a warm atmosphere, almost like a party celebrating being a woman. I worked with Shobna Gulati, formerly of Coronation Street. It was a bonding experience. We kept each others' numbers and throughout the year we've texted and been in touch. I'm looking forward to working with Nikki and Sally – we already know each other to say hello to from soap circles. You've all got something in common, a real bond, and it's interesting hearing how that experience of soap was for them.
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Have you ever experienced feeling a lack of power as a woman?
I've had a very positive experience. Before acting I worked in a blue-chip company and men and women were treated exactly the same. I never felt disempowered. I went to an all-girls' school where we were encouraged to go to good universities and it instilled us with the belief that we were absolutely equal to our male counterparts and that anything is possible. But when you sit down and read the monologues it makes you realise that I am very fortunate and a lot of women around the world are not in that situation.
Are the monologues still relevant, then, to a modern British audience?
There is always room for us to be educated about people elsewhere in the world. One of the monologues is about a woman, possibly Bosnian, who was raped during a civil war, and the way that made them feel about themselves. You can't hear that without being moved. There's definitely a place for this. While it's often upbeat and is a really positive production, there are moments when you could hear a pin drop because it is so powerful.
Which monologues are you performing?
One about a woman who cannot comprehend that a woman would find her attractive and she meets a guy who's not exciting or thrilling but he makes her feel so amazing as a woman. And one about hair – down there hair – and what is the place of it and celebrating that as well.
Who are your closest friends from the
I still see Kacey Ainsworth and Michelle Ryan, they played Little Mo and Zoe.
Michelle's had very exciting news that she's going to appear in the
Is that confirmed? I didn't know. That passed me by. I need to congratulate her then – that's fantastic news. She's such a lovely girl.
What are your own ambitions?
My aim when I left EastEnders was to try lots of different things and I feel like I'm doing alright. I did a Noel Coward play [Hay Fever] with Dame Judi Dench, playing her daughter, then I played Sally Bowles in Cabaret for six months in the West End. It was nice to do a bit of telly again in ITV's Harley Street, and now I'm back in The Vagina Monologues, so my aim is to keep doing lots of different things and not get stuck in a rut.