The Tricycle Theatre will present Women, Power and Politics, a season opening immediately after the general election, exploring the history and current role of women in politics in Great Britain through twelve different plays, a film festival, curtain raisers (in conjunction with the National Theatre Studio) and an exhibition in the Tricycle's Gallery. Women, Power and Politics will preview from 4 June, with press performances at 3pm and 7pm on 11 June, and runs until 17 July 2010. Designs are by Rosa Maggiora, lighting is by Matthew Eagland and sound by Tom Lishman. Full casting will be announced shortly.
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham with Associate Director Amy Hodge, Women, Power and Politics presents the world premieres of plays by Bola Agbaje, Moira Buffini, Zinnie Harris, Sam Holcroft, Marie Jones, Lucy Kirkwood, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Sue Townsend and Joy Wilkinson, as well as verbatim monologues, edited by Gillian Slovo from interviews that she has conducted with politicians including Oona King, Edwina Currie, Clare Short, Ann Widdecombe, Chloe Smith, Jacqui Smith and Baronesses Pauline Neville-Jones and Shirley Williams. In addition the season will include plays by young playwrights Lydia Adetunji, Abbie Spallen and David Watson. Women, Power and Politics is produced by Indhu Rubasingham and the Tricycle's Artistic Director Nicolas Kent.
The season will be presented in two parts - one entitled Then, examining the historical aspects of women and politics; the other entitled Now, with a more contemporary focus. The two parts will be performed on alternate evenings, with an opportunity to see parts 1 and 2 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Today, 17 March 2010, Indhu Rubasingham, Director, Women, Power and Politics, said: "In 2010 women make up 19% of MPs. Post election, how much will have changed? It is 92 years since women were first permitted to stand for Parliament and currently Britain has the smallest percentage of women in government of all European counties.
Women are often referred to as a minority in political terms, but in fact constitute 52% of the population in this country. Women, Power and Politics will raise questions about the complexity of women and political power in Great Britain."
The Lioness by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Elizabeth I described herself as Queen, King and Prince, thriving in a male world and saving the country from debt and wars. Self proclaimed wife and mother to England, her virgin status was part of her myth as she consistently refused marriage citing herself as already taken. In The Lioness we see Elizabeth as both a woman and a leader and follow her encounters with two men, John Knox, the ultimate misogynist and Essex, her favourite.
Rebecca Lenkiewicz is currently under commission to the National Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club, New York. Her play, Her Naked Skin, directed by Howard Davies, premiered at the National Theatre in 2008, the first play to be performed on the Olivier stage by a living female playwright. The Night Season, also presented at the National Theatre won her the Critics Circle Most Promising Playwright Award in 2004. Her other plays includes Soho - A Tale of Table Dancers for the Arcola Theatre, Shoreditch Madonna for Soho Theatre, Blue Moon Over Poplar for the National Youth Theatre/Soho Theatre, The Soldier's Tale for the Old Vic, An Enemy of the People for the Arcola Theatre and Faeries for the Royal Opera House. Lenkiewicz's new version of Ibsen's Ghosts was presented at the Arcola Theatre in 2009.
The Milliner And The Weaver by Marie Jones
Henrietta, from Belfast and Elspeth, from Dublin are unlikely comrades. The Suffragette movement binds them together but as the question of Home Rule divides Ireland, will national politics tear them apart?
Marie Jones is a BAFTA award-winning Irish writer and has written extensively for stage and television. Her play Stones in His Pockets premiered at the Tricycle before transferring to the West End, on Broadway and in thirty countries worldwide, winning numerous awards including the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best Comedy. Her other writing credits include Women on the Verge of HRT and A Night In November, the latter of which also ran at the Tricycle before it opened in the West End. She received the John Hewitt Award for outstanding contribution to culture, tradition and the arts in Northern Ireland and was awarded an OBE in 2002.
Battle of the Bags by Moira Buffini
For over a decade Margaret Thatcher met the Queen for a weekly audience. With all her previous Prime Ministers, the Queen enjoyed a fairly informal relationship but with Mrs Thatcher, things were different. Battle of the Bags speculates on the relationship between these two very powerful and private women.
Moira Buffini's 1997 play Gabriel was performed at the Soho Theatre, winning the LWT Plays on Stage and Meyer Whitworth awards. Her 1999 play Silence, commissioned by the National Theatre Studio, earned her the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Dinner, which premiered at the National Theatre in 2003, subsequently transferred to the West End, winning a Laurence Olivier award nomination for Best Comedy. Her other writing credits include Dying For It a new adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's satirical comedy The Suicide and Marianne Dreams an adaptation of Catherine Storr's classic novel, both for The Almeida Theatre. Buffini is also a prolific screenwriter. She has written an adaptation of Jane Eyre for BBC Films and Ruby Films.
Bloody Wimmin by Lucy Kirkwood
The protests at Greenham Common were a political landmark of the eighties. How much did Greenham impact the fight for nuclear disarmament, the progress of the women's movement and the culture of protest itself? What is the legacy of Greenham Common?...‘It's very easy to laugh at passion'.