Bechdel Theatre Podcast


(illustration by Megan-Ceri Dabbs)

Beth Watson and Pippa Sa talk gender representation on stage and all things #WomenInTheatre with a different special guest on each episode. Featuring discussion of current and upcoming #BechdelTest friendly theatre shows.

If you’d like to suggest show we should be talking about, or a guest to interview, email or tweet @BechdelTheatre.

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Episode Four

Interview with Yolanda Mercy and Jade Lewis: writer/performer and director of ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, plus our recommendations for Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Fringe, and shows opening in London and touring this summer.


 More info about Episode Four…

Yolanda Mercy is a London based Actor and Playwright. She trained at the renowned Brit school, Laban and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Yolanda is a winner of the Rich Mix Small Story Big City Award and Associate Artist at OvalHouse Theatre.

Jade Lewis is a director who has worked at Southwark Playhouse, The Bush Theatre and The Royal Court (where she assisted debbie tucker green). Jade is a Creative Associate at The Gate Theatre and Emerging Artist at Ovalhouse Theatre, and also runs workshops in schools and youth groups.

Yolanda’s #FeministFaves: The Secret book by Rhonda Byrne, Lilly Singh Youtuber.

Jade’s #FeministFaves: Nina Simone and Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce

The Scar Test by Hannah Khalil – The Place Theatre, Bedford June 21st, The Bohemian Balcony Swindon June 26-27th, and Soho Theatre July 5-22nd.

Anatomy of a Suicide at the Royal Court June 3 – July 8th Alice Birch and Katie Mitchell collaborate again after last year’s production of Ophelia’s Zimmer, with a play about 3 generations of women.

Rotterdam at The Arts Theatre June 21 – July 15th

The Globe’s Summer of Love, including Emma Rice’s Twelfth Night, until August 5th

Herstory Feminist Theatre Festival at Balham N16, including Lekhani Chirwa peforming ‘Can I Touch Your Hair?’ June 18-19th

Bechdel Testing Life at The Bunker. Four short plays based on real conversations by Isley Lynn, Guleraana Mir, Rabiah Hussain and Lizzie Milton. July 22-23rd.

Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Fringe recommendations…

Quarter Life Crisis 14:40

Joan (August 21-27th) 19:20

Prom Kween 20:35

Episode Three

#BringAFeministFriend special on representations of Muslim girls, with Firdos Ali and Shaneela Rowah Al-Qamar talking about An Evening to Launch Homegrown and The Diary of A Hounslow Girl.

 More info about Episode Three..

Firdos Ali is a playwright, currently writing a musical which will be previewed at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Firdos is co-curator of the Bunker Without Borders, and has 2 pieces of work being staged at the Bunker on April 4th and 8th.

Shaneela Rowah Al-Qamar is a business woman, founder of perfume company The Scented Souq and writer of several books on Arabian and Islamic history.

Firdos’ #FeministFaves: Deeya Khan of sister-hood.comEdna Adan who founded a hospital for women and children in Somaliland, and anti-FGM campaigner Leyla Hussein.

Shaneela’s #FeministFave: Mona Eltahawy.

We watched…

The Inconvenient Muslim – An Evening to Launch Homegrown at Conway Hall. Some of the publicity around the cancellation of the National Youth Theatre’s production: The GuardianTelegraphChannel 4 and BBC.

Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Featuring Nyla Levy, directed by Sophie Moniram.

HOT TOP –The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is dedicated to supporting culturally diverse artists, including women writers and directors, and they are actively looking for theatre folks who need rehearsal and work space in north London. If you’re an independent theatre practitioner, you can email them: with a bit about your work and the type of space you’re looking for.

We also saw a reading of Coconut by Guleraana Mir, work in progress to look out for, which we’ll be talking about more in the future.


Episode Two

Live from VAULT Festival with Bella Heesom, Lekhani Chirwa  and Georgina Bobb, discussing Dreamgirls in the West End and Balancing Acts, Fran and Leni, and Britney at VAULT.  Plus our audience, who told us their #FeministFaves. Listen to the end for some top watching, listening and reading recommendations!

 More info about in Episode Two…

All upcoming shows mentioned, and more are listed in the 2017 New Year blog post.

Bella Heesom‘s show My World Has Exploded A Little Bit. Bella an Associate Artist at Ovalhouse, where she’s making a new show about female sexuality with director Donnacadh O’Briain.

Georgina Bobb is a Freelance TV Production Coordinator and founded in 2014, offering masterclasses and coaching to people who want to work in TV. Georgina speaks publicly about living with bipolar to combat the stigma around mental health conditions and illnesses.

Lekhani Chirwa is an actor who trained at Identity Drama School. She is one of three hosts of The Creative Juice podcast. Lekhani wrote and performs in a monologue ‘Can I Touch Your Hair?‘.

#FeministFaves mentioned in Ep 2…

Bella Heesom’s #FeministFaves: Holly Morgan’s Seven Crazy BitchesBryony Kimmings, Caitlin Moran, Kate Tempest

Being Black, Going Crazy BBC Three Documentary available on iPlayer.

Made of Human podcast with Sofie Hagen.

Melanin Millenials podcast hosted by Imrie and Satia.

50:50 Parliament campaign for at least 50% women in parliament.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, based on her 2013 TED Talk.

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak.

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale novel and upcoming TV series on Hulu.

Warsan Shire‘s poetry and book, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth.

Chewing Gum on Channel 4 based on the play Chewing Gum Dreams by Michaela Coel.

Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley.

2 Dope Queens podcast and Phoebe Robinson’s book You Can’t Touch My Hair


Episode One

Bechdel Testing Panto, Emma Rice’s departure from The Globe, Interview with Jade Anouka, #BringAFeministFriend Competition, Oil at The Almieda and looking forward to 2017.

 More info about Episode One…

Jade Anouka’s poetry book Eggs On Toast, and videos.

I Call Myself A Feminist book, including ‘Hotspur: Superwoman’ by Jade Anouka.

Profile videos of each of the Donmar Trilogy’s prisoner characters.

Clean Break Theatre Company.

Brutus and Other Heroines by Harriet Walter – WIN a copy of this book by sharing your #BringAFeministFriend story for us to include in a future podcast episode! Email with a text or audio account of your experience of bringing a non-theatrical feminist to see a stage show.

Jade Anouka’s #FeministFaves: Laura Dockrill, Gemma Cairney, Sabrina Mahfouz

Emma Rice’s departure from The Globe

You Me And The Distance Between Us by Ellen Muriel

Oil at The Almeida