New review: Women, Power & Politics: Then

Kate McCarthy reviews a collection of short plays at the Tricycle

As part of The Tricycle’s Women, Power & Politics series, the theatre is hosting two collections of short plays; ‘Now’ focusing on contemporary issues of women and politics, and ‘Then’, which turns its gaze on the past. This is a review of ‘Then’, the historically-focused half of the programme.

A rhythmic drumming opens the first of these short plays, which soon clarifies itself to be the marching of men’s boots. This theme of feet is picked up throughout Marie Jones’ The Milliner and the Weaver as socks are washed and shoes polished for those fighting against Home Rule. The behatted Dublin suffragette Elspeth invades the domestic space of Henrietta, a Belfast woman trying to distance herself from the movement. As the latter points out, “women spend their lives in their backyards” and she cannot afford to be labelled a “Fenian-lover”. The play reveals the truth that one cause often bleeds into another and so often people, especially women, are hampered by domestic chores from achieving their common aim.

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