Bechdel Theatre presents four brand new plays inspired by moments when real-life passes the Bechdel Test.
These plays were staged on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July at The Bunker in London Bridge. Each one was inspired by conversations between women who have emailed us recordings of themselves as part of the Bechdel Testing Life project.
Isley is an American-born, London-based playwright and poet. Her European debut SIE UND WIR (‘US & THEM’) was performed in German at Werk X, Vienna. Her play TOTTY, written for Paines Plough and Tamasha’s Come To Where I’m From: London, is available for free through the CTWIF app. Her award winning play, SKIN A CAT, recently played at The Bunker as their premiere production, and nominated for four Off West End Awards, including Best New Play and Most Promising New Playwright. Isley is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme (2012) and Royal Court Invitation Studio Group (2013) and was a Creative Associate of the Soho Theatre Young Company from 2011-2012. Her new play is currently in development with support from Old Vic New Voices, the Michael Grandage Company and the Arcola Lab. She is a HighTide First Commissions writer 2017-18.
Hannah is artistic director and co-founder of female driven theatre company Damsel Productions. After working in Washington DC and graduating from Georgetown University, she acted as resident AD at Soho Theatre in 2014. She has most recently been working as Associate on Romeo & Juliet at The Globe and with Oxford School Of Drama, as well as developing new work with Damsel Productions. Most recent directing work includes: FURY (Soho Theatre), Brute (Soho Theatre), Clay (Pleasance Theatre), Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre), PLAY- Hypernormal (Vaults Festival). Associate/Assistant work: Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Radiant Vermin (Soho Theatre) and Daytona (Theatre Royal Haymarket). She also works as a theatre, comedy and cabaret programmer for Live At Zedel.
Lucy trained at East 15 Acting School. Theatre: Emma Rice’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Fallen Angels and solo show BIKE (Salisbury Playhouse), Jonathan Harvey’s Corrie! (UK and New Zealand tour), My Beautiful Black Dog (Bush Theatre), solo show AMAKA (Jack Studio Theatre), Extra-Marital (Soho Theatre), Noises Off, Ladies’ Day, Sweeney Todd, How the Other Half Loves (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Louisville in London (Riverside Studios). TV and Film: Hatton Garden (ITV), Damned (Channel 4), The Five (Sky), iBoy (Netflix), A Royal Night Out (Netflix/Ecosse Films), After Eric: Part of That World (Mini Mammoth Films), New Tricks, Casualty, Doctors, Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life (BBC).
Holly graduated from LAMDA in 2013 and immediately landed the title roll of Chloe in Charlotte Josephine’s acclaimed one woman show ‘BitchBoxer’ directed by Snuffbox theatre’s Bryony Shanahan. The show took her from Edinburgh to Adelaide and then to Norway after a U.K. Tour which stopped off at The Bristol Old vic and culminated in a two week run at Soho Theatre. From there she went on to land roles in Downtown Abbey, Call the Midwife, Holby City and Doctors. Most recently she played the lead in Loren O’Brien’s dark comedy ‘I Need to Vent’ at the Vault Festival as well as aspiring journalist, Rose Miller, in Piotr Skopiak’s period feature, ‘The Last Witness’ opposite Alex Pettyfer. In addition to acting Holly enjoys a fruitful side career as a burlesque performer and is currently developing her first play entitled ‘Lilith; Confessions of a Demon Goddess.’
Guleraana is a writer and theatre maker. Her first play full-length play Shooting Star was long listed by the BBC as part of SCRIPTROOM 8. The latest, Coconut is currently in development with The Thelmas and has been supported by Park Theatre and New Diorama. Her short plays have been performed at London fringe venues such as Etcetera Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, Horse & Stables and Theatre Delicatessen. Guleraana is proud to be one of the eight Tamasha Playwrights in 2016/17.
Madelaine is a Theatre Director and Artistic Director of female new writing company, The Thelmas (New Diorama Emerging Company 2017). She is also a lecturer in Applied Theatre at St Mary’s University, specialising in using theatre in prisons, and devising theatre with young people. Directing credits include; SANTI & NAZ (Derby Theatre work-in-progress), THE AWAKENING (Jack Studio Theatre), PULL YOUR SOCKS UP, BRITAIN! (Brighton Fringe), LADYLOGUE! (Camden Fringe), SKIN LIKE BUTTER (Etcetera Theatre). COCONUT by Guleraana Mir, directed by Madelaine, developed with The Thelmas will be coming to a major London fringe venue and on regional tour in Summer 2018! For news follow @TheThelmas.
Rekha John-Cheriyan has had a busy year so far in 2017. She is a member of the Directors Cut Theatre Company and as well as working on a number of new writing projects, she has also performed with Rifco, The Pensive Federation and at Wandsworth Fringe. She can be seen in the new Tomb Raider film, which is scheduled for release in 2018.
Kuran Dohil recently graduated with a BA in Acting from Italia Conti. Theatre credits while training include: Coram Boy, Vernon God Little, Piaf, Port, and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore.
Theatre includes A Colder Water Than Here (Vault Festival), World Factory (HOME, Cambridge Junction, ACCA), The Fu Manchu Complex (Ovalhouse) Wild Swans (Young Vic/American Repertory Theatre) The Good Person Of Setzuan (NT), Daughter Of The River (Mu-lan Theatre Company), Hecuba (UK Tour), Geisha Girl (Riverside Studios) Cleaning Up (Stratford Circus), 100 Words (Associate artist working with director Natasha Betteridge). Film includes A Monster Calls, Piercing Brightness, Act of Grace, Womb, Hostel, When Evil Calls, Code 46, Puritan, Rogue Trader, Die Strassen Von Berlin. TV includes Holby City, The League of Gentlemen, World of Pub, Spirit Warriors. Radio includes The Story Of The Stone, And The Rain My Drink, The Flower Room, Tiananmen Square all for Radio 4.
Rabiah is a London based playwright, poet and performer. Her short plays have been part of programmes with The Bunker Theatre, RADA, Take Back Theatre and Three Pegs Productions. Rabiah has performed her poetry as part of events at The Rich Mix, The Space Arts Centre, The Lost Theatre and at Brixton BookJam. She has performed filmed poetry for Battersea Arts Centre and has also been part of their London Stories project. Rabiah is currently part of Tamasha Playwrights 2016-2017 – a writer-led collective with Tamasha Theatre.
Lotte Ruth Johnson
Lotte Ruth Johnson is a writer/director/teacher with a focus on political theatre. As associate director of Blink Theatre, Lotte has directed The Collector (2015) at the Space Theatre and Mr Kolpert (2016) at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, to critical acclaim. Her most recent work, Response, commissioned 6 new monologues about social responsibility and were performed at The Courtyard Theatre and The Old red Lion Theatre, inspiring a rehearsal process that focuses on inclusion and diversity. Lotte has written and directed for various short-play events including Rapid write Response at Theatre 503, The Miniaturists at The Arcola, and has been a regular director for Little Pieces of Gold at Southwark playhouse since 2015. With an MA in Actor Training and Coaching from RCSSD, Lotte often works in higher education and is currently teaching/directing showcases at Identity School of Acting.
Katherine Hurley graduated from The London School of Dramatic Art, (LSDA) in July 2007. Since then she has worked on a variety of fringe productions and short films. In 2014 Katherine co-founded female led theatre company, Angel on the Corner. The companies first production ‘Zero Down’, received critical acclaim and runs at both ‘Theatre503’ and ‘The Pleasance’ (Edinburgh) as well as passing the Bechdel test! Katherine has been involved in on-going workshops with Anna Jordan, (WAP Theatre Company) and is currently in pre-production with her first play, ‘The Witterings’.
Binnacle marks the fourth time Libby has worked with director Lotte Johnson. After a succesful run of Mr Kolpert at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Who Are We?at the Southwark Playhouse, and a London Tour of her own writing in Response – A Compilation of Monologues, she is very much looking forward to being part ofBechdel Testing Life on the Bunker stage.
Libby recently won monologue competition Make the Cut at St. James Theatre and, a lover of all things funny, has just begun training with The Second City School of Improv.
Lizzie Milton is a playwright and storyteller, born in Bristol and now based in London. She graduated from an MA in Writing for Performance and Dramaturgy at Goldsmiths in 2015 and her dissertation and debut play The Breaks in You and I was staged at The Hope Theatre in September 2016. Before writing plays, Lizzie was a stand-up and sketch comedian and was a Laughing Horse quarter finalist in 2012. She has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Sheffield and can now be found telling short stories in and around London.
Originally from Poland Nastazja trained as an actress both in Dublin and London. She is the co-artistic director of No Offence Theatre and a member of an award winning devised theatre collective Balloons Theatre. Nastazja has just finished assisting directing Phil Willmott on Three Sisters (Union Theatre) following their earlier work together on a family show The Wawel Dragon (The Scoop) and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (The Union Theatre). She is the founder and producer of HerStory: FEMINIST THEATRE FESTIVAL which stages new work that challenges the misrepresentation of women in theatre. @NastazjaSomers
Julie is a British-born East Asian actor. In 2015, she wrote and performed No More Lotus Flower! for the Camden Fringe, a satirical solo show described as “a fantastic exploration of the assumptions made, even today, by outmoded theatricals who can’t see past a person’s pigmentation” (London Theatre 1). Her work in theatre includes The 38th Parallel for Pokfulam Road Productions at the Park Theatre, Rebranding Britain for Little Pieces of Gold at the Southwark Playhouse, and She Ventures and He Wins at the Rose Playhouse. Other work includes feature films All That Remains and Solito and radio drama Endurance.
Acushla-Tara Kupe has recently relocated to London after working professionally on stage and screen in New Zealand for the past 5 years. Her most notable credits in NZ include Catherine in A View from the Bridge, Annie Tupua in Kings of the Gym, Ilse in Spring Awakening, and Nancy in the indigenous sic-fi 2080. Since arriving and signing with Q Management, Kupe has appeared in Closer by Patrick Marber, filmed an episode for a new CBBC show, and is currently rehearsing the role of Benvolio in Mayhem Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet. ‘I love new works, their freshness is intoxicating, and to work on a new script for Bechdel Theatre with these incredible woman – it feels so good!’.
Team Bechdel Testing Life
Hilary Baxter – Designer
Hilary Baxter is a Theatre Designer, Visual Artist and Theatre Maker, who is currently in the first year of her Drama and Healthcare PhD research at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. Hilary has considerable experience of design for different kinds of performance across a broad range of theatre and screen media, with Costume Research projects funded by the AHRC and the British Academy. Professional design credits include theatre productions for the RSC (Dr Faustus for ‘The Other Place’) and the world premiere of ‘The Mistress’ for the Teatro Flaiano in Rome written and directed by Arnold Wesker. Current research interests include designing for ethnography based dramas, feminist theatre practices including older women and performances in unusual found spaces. Published work includes chapters on ‘Masquerade, Pride, Drag, Love and Marriage’ and also the work of theatre designer Alison Chitty. This is Hilary’s second show with Bechdel Theatre.
Jaclyn Bradley – Stage Manager
Stage manager and company manager recent credits include: Cuckoo Bang at The Jack Studio Theatre, Yolanda Mercy’s ‘On The Edge Of Me’ which toured small scale venues across the UK including: Arena Theatre Wolverhampton, Derby Theatre, Y Theatre Leicester and VAULT Festival, and ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ which premiered at Ovalhouse in April. Jaclyn works regularly in the stage management department a The Mill At Sonning in Reading.
Jaclyn is also a theatre director and is artistic director of CandleFire Theatre. Credits include: A Midsummer Nights Dream at Waterloo East, Volpone at the Cockpit and Romeo & Juliet at The Jack Studio Theatre, ‘Choosers’ for Cuckoo Bang, ‘And Another Thing’ for Instinct Theatre, ‘Frenemies’ for Second Sons, PlayTime and ‘Hope’ and ‘Vegan Visiting’ for Little Pieces Of Gold at Southwark Playhouse.
Beth Watson – Bechdel Theatre Founder & Bechdel Testing Life Producer
Beth Watson is an actor who trained at London School of Dramatic Art and Goldsmiths University. Beth founded Bechdel Theatre in 2015 to help audiences to find shows where women are autonomously present on stage, and shows that care about gender representation to find the audiences they deserve.
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Artwork by Megan-Ceri Dabbs