The F-Word stage blog: May 2016

Having kept last month’s blog completely to theatre, let’s start off this month’s with some comedy and a tribute to a great woman. I don’t think I was the only person to be hit sideways by Victoria Wood’s death. She was so funny and talented. Here’s an obituary and here’s a video of her most famous song with lyrics so we can all sing along.

There’s lots going on in Brighton this month including the festival and the Komedia has some great feminist comedians and theatre shows on including:

  • Smasher: “Helen’s on a quest for ultimate pleasure; come if you can” on 16 and 31 May
  • Vanity Bites Back: “Join aspiring TV cookery host Jill – ‘a cross between Alan Partridge and Margaret Thatcher’ – for a clown cookery show about searching for self-worth in a cheesecake” on 17 May and 1 June
  • Sarah Kendall on 12 May with her Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated show
  • the Funny Women: Time of the Month event on 22 May
  • Juliette Burton: Decision Time on 25 May
  • Twisted & Tongue Tied on 29 and 30 May and
  • The Ruby Darlings on 5 June.

    As well as their Brighton event on 22 May, Funny Women have also launched their awards process for 2016. The deadline for entry to the Stage Award is 1 June, so get cracking if you’d like to enter! Over 2500 contestants have been through the heats since the awards began in 2003, including some friends of mine, and it’s great to see the awards go from strength to strength. There are some superb mentors involved this year too.

    Back to theatre and the Sex Workers’ Opera is on at the Pleasance in London from 17 to the 29 May. It’s described as “a multimedia production written and performed by Sex Workers and their friends”, and it’s good to see sex workers’ voices, especially when singing, being heard.

    At the Bristol Old Vic Studios on 20 May Action Hero will be performing a work in progress of their new piece, Wrecking Ball, “a conversation about consent, authorship and putting words in other people’s mouths, about what it really means to say ‘yes’.” The show will be touring in the autumn.

    Finally, I will be going to see Women’s Hour by Sh!t Theatre next Friday, say hello if you’ll be there too. The show was at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and is on at Camden People’s Theatre on 20 and 21 May. It aims to be a funny mix of satire, song, comedy cabaret and performance art that makes some very serious points about the way the media treats women. Their press release says: “[t]hey have been told many times by theatre professionals to change their name” and I can’t say I disagree, but that’s perhaps the point.

    The image is courtesy of Sh!t Theatre and is by Felipe Serralhiero. It is of Women’s Hour. Two female performers stand on stage, they have white-painted faces, white shorts and are both holding their right fists in the air. One has a guitar and one a ukulele.