The F-Word stage blog: June 2016

Summer is finally here and I’m looking forward to the Glastonbury Festival next week where I am definitely going to check out The Sisterhood area in the Shangri-La zone. We linked to a piece about The Sisterhood in a previous weekly round-up.

The Larmer Tree Festival recently announced their comedy line up for this year which includes six fantastic female comedians. Tiff Stevenson, Jen Brister and Laura Lexx will be performing in the festival’s late-night comedy club, meanwhile Ellie Taylor, Sarah Callaghan and Maddy Anholt will be taking part in Larmer Tree’s brand new programme of Fringe previews, offering festival-goers a sneak peak of some of the shows going up to Edinburgh this summer.

Stuart Goldsmith will also be recording a new episode for his respected podcast live at the festival, featuring Tiff Stevenson. You can listen to some of Goldsmith’s previous podcasts here, I really enjoyed the episodes with Abigoliah Schamaun and Tania Edwards (apologies that there isn’t a transcript available for these podcasts).

Keeping with the summer theme, Watch Your Head have an immersive and promenade production of As You Like It in the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park from 22 June to 24 July. The company is led by a female team, and the production features circus, which is pretty much all I ask for.

Very local to me, but unfortunately I can’t go, is TheatreState’s Tribute Acts which will be at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton this Friday 17 June. It’s described as “Tess and Cheryl look back to their 1990s childhoods when their heroes were Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Piers Brosnan and, of course, their own dads. Then, as the girls grew up Tony took us to Iraq, Bill lied, Pierce lost Bond and their dads left home following affairs with other women. For the show they each ask difficult questions of the others father and interact on stage with the video footage of the interviews, with answers frequently more direct than they anticipated. Are we all a ‘tribute act’ to our parents? This show searches for the answer.” We’ve previously reviewed TheatreState here.

The RADA Festival returns to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art this summer from 22 June – 02 July. Tickets start from £5 so will hopefully be accessible to many. Of interest to feminist theatre fans will be:

  • In The Gut (25 & 29 June) by Les Femmes Ridicule. A funny, tragic and ridiculous show about pregnancy, parenting and growing up. Supported by The Miscarriage Association and The Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
  • Sweets and Chocolate (23 Jun – 01 Jul), supported by Kali Theatre, uses movement and music to tell the stories of three women from three different cultures. It explores the effects of child abuse on three seemingly unconnected lives: Nadia, a cricket-obsessed Pakistani girl; M’Bilia, a devout churchgoer in the Congo; and Catherine, the headmistress of an English private school.
  • The Power Behind The Crone (22 & 27 June) is an exuberant monologue reflecting on the roles for older women in Shakespeare.
  • One-woman show Foreign Body (27 & 29 June), about hope, healing and forgiveness after sexual assault, uses a charged combination of verbatim and physical theatre to tell a brave, liberating and life-affirming story. The show will be supported by a Q&A session featuring representatives from The Forgiveness Project and Clear Lines.
  • Sisterhood (24 June, 6pm), a forum chaired by Bonnie Greer, will present a debate on the solidarity and celebration of women, based on shared conditions, experiences and concerns within theatre and everyday life. Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Emma Rice, RADA Acting graduate Tanya Moodie and co-founder of Women@RADA Melanie Jessop also join the discussion.

And finally the Soho Theatre have some amazing things coming up, including a whole autumn season which belongs to ‘the girls’ (which will give us something to look forward to when summer’s over). In the meantime they’ve also got Fury coming next month from 5 – 30 July which has been created by an all-female theatre company, Damsel Productions. “A darkly comic tragedy, Fury takes an unapologetic look at a young single mum society has forgotten. Tackling themes of motherhood, class, social culpability and the abuse of power, the production paints a contemporary picture of an ever-changing and increasingly gentrified landscape of London.”

Image courtesy of TheatreState. It is of Tribute Acts and credited to Helen Murray. It shows two figures on stage. They wear massive white inflatable suits, sparkly crash helmets and metallic high heeled shoes. The are each teetering towards a microphone. Behind them is a backdrop of blue LED lights on which is projected two pictures of Bruce Willis.