(illustration by Megan-Ceri Dabbs)
Beth Watson and Pippa Sa talk gender representation on stage 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 email@example.com or tweet @BechdelTheatre.
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Fun Home and Hive City Legacy
Lisa Fa’alafi and Yami ‘Rowdy’ Lofvenberg are the Director and Assistant Director of Hive City Legacy: a riotous new show by a league of extraordinary Femmes Of Colour, created in association with legendary Australian performance collective Hot Brown Honey.
Lisa’s #FeministFave was Cocoa Butter Club, a queer cabaret collective of colour, who hold regular showcases at Her Upstairs, and are performing a show at Roundhouse after Hive City Legacy on July 20th.
Yami’s #FeministFave was OSHUN, an independent Hip-Hop / Soul duo and the sonic manifestation of Afrofuturism. Their debut studio album, bittersweet vol 1, is out now.
Cherrelle Skeete is currently playing Joan in Fun Home at the Young Vic – the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name. Cherrelle previously played Char in Ella Road’s The Phlebotomist at Hampstead Theatre, and originated the role of Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in the West End.
Cherrelle is a founder of Blacktress UK, an organisation which supports Black Womxn actors in the UK through regular meet ups, workshops and events. You can keep up with Blacktress on Instagram (Black Womxn only), Twitter and Facebook.
Cherrelle’s #FeministFaves were: Poet and activist Staceyann Chin; the writing of Audre Lorde (in particular Sister Outsider and The Cancer Journals); Sista! an anthology of writing about Same Gender Loving Black Women; and All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks.
All of our Edinburgh Festival Fringe show recommendations for August are listed on our pre-Edinburgh blog post.
Three Sisters with RashDash
RashDash Theatre Company are Abbi Greenland, Becky Wilkie and Helen Goalen. They have been making shows together since 2009, and have been called “The punk princesses of late night theatre”. Their new show Three Sisters (after Chekhov) is at The Yard London until June 9 and then at Tobacco Factor Bristol June 12 – 16
Helen’s #FeministFave was playwright and RashDash collaborator Alice Birch.
Becky’s #FeministFave was singer/songwriter Regina Spektor.
Abbi’s #FeministFave was her follow members of RashDash (see above!).
The Yellow Wallpaper Clapham Omnibus 5 – 24 June.
Leave Taking Bush Theatre until June 30.
Spun Arcola Theatre 27 June–28 July.
As You Like It & Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe until August 26.
Fun Home The Young Vic June 18 – Sept 1.
Chinese Dreams & Different Women with Jennifer Tang & Ariane Barnes
Journalism, Journeys, and Good Girl with Lisa Francesca Nand
Chisholm 72 Barbican Cinema 18 Apr.
Nine Night National Theatre 21 April to 26 May.
Mountains: Dreams of Lily Kwok UK tour until 2 June.
Our Country’s Good Touring to Leeds, London, Sheffield and Birmingham, until 2 June.
#BlackGirlMagic with Giselle Gant
MORE INFO ABOUT EPISODE Eleven…
Giselle Gant is an Emmy-winning actor, theatre-maker, and presenter (known for her ‘Black To Life‘ series on BET Her). Giselle was born and raised in Manhatten.
Nathalie Adlam is Artistic Director of theatre company Les Foules, who won the VAULT Festival Origins Award for Outstanding New Work in 2015.
Giselle and Nathalie are the creators of The Year of The Rooster Monk, running at VAULT Festival March 7 – 11.
Giselle’s #FeministFave is Shirley Chisholm, who was the United States first black congresswoman and the first woman to run for President in 1972. She also gave an honourable mention to Delta Sigma Theta a sorority founded by African American women, which is still active across the world.
So Many Reasons Ovalhouse Mar 6 – 10 Use the code BECHDEL12 to book for our special International Women’s Day celebration on March 8th for a discounted ticket and free espresso martini!
Good Girl Trafalgar Studios throughout March.
Leftover Women Cockpit Theatre 11 Mar
Yvette WOW Festival Southbank Centre 10 & 11 Mar | UK Tour 16 April to 23 May
Electra The Bunker 27 Feb – 24 Mar
The Great Wave National Theatre 10 March to 14 April
Frankenstein The Space until March 10
Juniper and Jules Theatre503 Mar 18 – 19
Dollywould Soho Theatre Mar 19 – Apr 14
Tina The Musical Aldwych Theatre from March 21st
The Party Somewhere Else Nottingham Playhouse Mar 20 – 24
Strike A Light Festival Gloucester City 21 – 27 Mar
Boots VAULT Mar 7 – 11
Timothy VAULT Mar 14 – 18
Things That Do Not Count VAULT Mar 14 – 18
Outsourcing and surrogacy in There or Here with Rakhee Thakrar
MORE INFO ABOUT EPISODE TEN…
Rakhee Thakrar is best known for her long-running role on Eastenders playing Shabnam Masood. Her theatre credits include: Astronauts Of Hartlepool (Vaults Festival); Lalita’s Big Fat Asian Wedding (Curve Leicester); Pyaar Hai (Rich Mix); Free Booze (Edinburgh Fringe).
Rakhee is currently starring in There or Here at the Park Theatre until Feb 17. Bechdel Theatre are hosting a post-show after the evening performance of There or Here on Thu Feb 1st.
Rakhee’s #FeministFaves are actress Denise Gough, and Amy Agnew and Caroline Dollman of Global Citizen: a social action platform for a global generation that wants to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
Mary Beard’s book Women in Power.
MORE INFO ABOUT EPISODE NINE…
& The Andrea Project Sat 20 Jan
Feminist Witches with Lauren Barri Holstein and Michelle Barwood
More info about Episode Eight…
The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein also known as ‘The Famous,’ is a New York-raised, London-based feminist performance maker who holds a PhD on ‘The Agency of the Displayed Female Body: The Political Potential of Negative Affects in Contemporary Feminism and Performance’.
Michelle Barwood is an actor, writer, shit feminist, bad vegan, witch. Michelle watched Queens of Sheba, produced by Nouveau Riche at Camden People’s Theatre, and In Event of Moone Disaster at Theatre503.
Michelle‘s #FeministFave is Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising project.
Damsel Develops The Bunker Nov 13 – 19.
The Butch Monologues Soho Theatre Nov 21 – 24th
We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! TARA Theatre Nov 21 – 25 and touring until May.
Pecs Soho Theatre 4 – 9 December
Bad Roads Royal Court Wed 15 Nov – Sat 23 Dec
Whitewashing in ‘Angel’ at the Arcola. With Tutku Barbaros.
More info about Episode Seven…
Wings at the Young Vic until Nov 4.
Portrait by Racheal Ofori UK Tour Nov 1 – 12.
Apologia at Trafalgar Studios until Nov 18.
Notorious created and performed by The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein UK tour Oct 20 – Nov 23.
White by Koko Brown at Ovalhouse Nov 15 – 25.
No Place Like Hope at The Old Red Lion Nov 7 – 26.
Muvvahood by Libby Liburd London Tour 3 Nov to 1 Dec.
Contractions produced by Deafinitely Theatre at New Diorama Nov 1 – 29.
Come As You Are festival with Lucy J Skilbeck, Lucy Parkinson, and Amie Taylor.
More info about Episode Six…
Live from Edinburgh! With Tanya Loretta Dee, Charly Clive, Ellen Robertson, and Rebecca Humphries.
More info about Episode Five…
If you’re not in Edinburgh (or are listening in the future…) never fear! The majority of the shows that do well at the Fringe will tour across the country, so make sure you get them on your radar ahead of their inevitable future success.
This episode was recorded far from home (and our usual recording equipment) so please forgive the variable sound quality.
Thanks to Funny Women, The Gilded Balloon and Apex Hotel for our locations.
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.
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
#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’s #FeministFave: Journalist Mona Eltahawy.
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 Guardian, Telegraph, Channel 4 and BBC.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Georgina Bobb is a Freelance TV Production Coordinator and founded TVJobsUK.com 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.
#FeministFaves mentioned in Ep 2…
Being Black, Going Crazy BBC Three Documentary available on iPlayer.
Made of Human podcast with Sofie Hagen.
Melanin Millenials podcast hosted by Imrie Morgan and Satia Sa Dias.
50:50 Parliament campaign for at least 50% women in parliament.
Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak.
Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley.
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 email@example.com with a text or audio account of your experience of bringing a non-theatrical feminist to see a stage show.
Emma Rice’s departure from The Globe.
You Me And The Distance Between Us by Ellen Muriel.