New play takes a behind-the-headlines look at the lives of Britain’s suffragettes
PUBLISHED: 12:06 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 20 September 2018
A new play taking a fly-on-the-wall look at the private lives of a group of suffragettes will be taking the stage at the newly-relaunched Wells Maltings centre, as part of a tour of East Anglian venues.
Presented by Norfolk-based Broad Horizons Theatre Company, Rebellious Sisterhood – Votes For Women begins as, on her release from prison in the early 1900s, Emmeline Pankhurst takes refuge at the home of her friend, the composer Ethel Smyth.
However, the pair’s peace and tranquillity is disturbed by the arrival of Grace Roe, a young firebrand fresh from turning East Anglia into a hotbed of suffragette protest.
Memories of hunger strikes, force feeding and martyrdom are balanced by exciting rallies, camaraderie and humour, as family rifts, rivalries and growing violence threaten the three women, who begin to wonder whether the end can really justify the means, or the price paid.
Directed by Cordelia Spence of Stuff of Dreams Theatre and featuring Shirley Day as Mrs Pankhurst, Judi Daykin as Dame Ethel and Kiara Hawker as Grace Roe, the play, which commemorates the centenary of women winning the vote, has been written by Karen Forbes in her first commission since graduating with an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia last year.
Broad Horizons founder Ms Daykin said the company was keen to create new plays focusing on women’s history, often with a local connection.
She added: “We aim to tour in conjuction with local venues and groups into areas which don’t always have a lot of theatre provision.”
Rebellious Sisterhood will be performed at 7.30pm on October 3 at the Wells Maltings arts, heritage and tourism centre, which has been re-opened after a £5m refurbishment programme.
The play will then go on tour to other East Anglian venues, including the Carnegie Rooms, Thetford, on October 4, the Seagull Theatre, Pakefield, on October 5, Southwold Arts Centre on October 12, the Sewell Barn, Norwich, on October 25, and Cromer Community Centre on October 26.
Tickets are available from www.broadhorizonstheatre.co.uk