A forum on female transgression and punishment, breaking the female mould and challenging perceptions within today’s society.
Women@RADA lead Offending Women alongside guest speakers from Clean Break theatre company.
Women@RADA is a grassroots collective founded by Natasha Rickman, Rhiannon Oliver, and Melanie Jessop and run by RADA students and graduates. They hold the belief that achieving long-lasting change requires a concerted and collective effort.
Clean Break is a women’s theatre company changing lives and changing minds – on stage, in prison and in the community.
Co-founder of Women@RADA Melanie Jessop is also bringing The Lizzie Play to the RADA Festival, a play about Lizzie Borden, which is programmed just after this event and whose themes are extended and explored through this discussion. Jessop said:
“I’m delighted that Women@RADA is bringing The Lizzie Play to the RADA Festival. Since we established the initiative in 2015, the Women@RADA 100 series of playreadings has offered opportunities for female writers, directors and actors at all stages of their careers to develop their work. This piece is an evolution of that project as we continue to strive for increased gender equality in the industry through supporting the creation of exciting and challenging artistic work.
It is fantastic that we can combine this artistic output with leading the Offending Women forum, which links the extraordinary historical tale of Lizzie Borden – a woman who was punished and ostracised for her assumed crime – with questions of female transgression and punishment in the current climate, and the way contemporary society treats women who break free from their perceived place in the world”
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Writer: Emily White
Director: Stephen Darcy
Dramaturg: Lloyd Trott
Amidst the chaos of the 2008 financial crash, Chris is found pacing the beach in Coney Island, claiming he has forgotten his entire life. Through his interactions with family and friends, who are now complete strangers to him, he discovers the world with fresh eyes; changing his life and the lives of those around him.
Written by Elizabeth Lewis
Directed by Titania Krimpas
Cast: Clare Bloomer, Viss E Safavi and Jamie De Courcey
First seen as part of Women@RADA Essential Stage present a rehearsed reading of The Glasshouse by Elizabeth Lewis.
A contemporary fairytale about two sisters who can't grow up. Amber resolves to stay in The Glasshouse whilst Ruth yearns for a big life out in the world. When Simon the clock mender arrives their fragile frozen world begins to crack.
August 4th, 1892, Fall River Massachusetts.
Mr Borden strokes his stocks and bonds; Mrs Borden ceaselessly eats. Their exhausted maid takes to her sweltering attic bed. They’re all out of sorts. Daughter Lizzie, too, feels peculiar, isn’t quite herself today. In the blistering morning heat, she irons. She could have escaped the heat, could have joined her sister at the beach. Emma begged her to come, begged her not to stay in Fall River, not to stay in the Borden house for one more minute. As if under a spell, Lizzie couldn't leave. Lizzie had a pressing date with destiny. Lizzie Borden took an axe...
Directed by Nona Shepphard, based on "The Fall River Axe Murders" by Angela Carter, adapted by Deirdre Strath, The Lizzie Play scavenges trial transcripts, newspaper reports and true crime writing to give a darkly humorous, haunting retelling of a brutal and curiously tidy act of parental butchery.
Written and performed by Claire Louise Amias
Directed by Pradeep Jey
Costume design by Anna Sargent
Sound Design by Keri Danielle Chesser
It's 1677 and an audience getting ready to watch Aphra Behn's 'The Rover' are in for a surprise. For the show has been cancelled and in its place Aphra herself recounts the extraordinary tale of her time as a spy for King Charles II in the Dutch Wars, and how she became the first professional female writer. Complete with excerpts from Behn's letters, poetry and plays, this vivid and thought-provoking one-woman show brings one of theatre's most brilliant raconteurs back to life.
Thoroughly Entertaining... faultless
Four Stars Remotegoat
You'll be hard pressed to find a show quite as original and enjoyable as this one
Four Stars Female Arts
Writer and Director: Lily Bevan
Assistant Director: Miztli Rose Neville
Associate Director: Hannah Eidinow
Composer and Musical Director: Chris Read
Designer: Christianna Mason
Cast includes: Lily Bevan, Katie Bucholz, Agatha Elwes, Luke Kempner (as Trump), Joe May, Rosie Sheehy, Sara Stewart and Alfie Webster
A series of short plays tracks Trump's meddling with the women he has encountered and employed decade by decade. From the Beauty Pageant days, The Apprentice, the Scottish Golf Course debacle.. via the golden age of manufacture of Trump steaks.. up to his following of devoted female Republican voters and into the future of the man with the mythical hair. This piece takes a darkly comedic look at the man who claims to love women, but time and time again has grabbed them by the, oh it's too boring to even say it..
Lily is a RADA graduate, she attended the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court and the Emerging Writer's Programme at the Bush Theatre. Lily has written for theatres including Theatre 503, Trafalgar Studios, the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and TV work for Kudos, Leftbank and RoughCut. Last year she co-wrote the BBC Radio 4 comedy series 'Talking to Strangers' with Sally Phillips. She wrote 'Hen' one of the films for the current RADA third year.
This play is an extension of Lily's work for Top Trumps Festival at Theatre 503 from Jan 2017 - a collection of new plays staged over Trump's inauguration weekend. Her play was staged alongside new work by Caryl Churchill, Neil LaBute and Roy Williams.
Written by Peter Oswald
Directed by Kathryn Hunter
Assistant Director: Ragga Dahl Johansen
Artistic Associate: Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts)
Composer and Musician: Mrityunjoy
Cast: Kali Chandrasegaram; Gavi Singh Chera; Harry Gostelow; Adam Karim; Nadia Nadarajah; Neerja Naik; Irfan Shamji; Julia Tarnoky
At school, he wasn’t allowed to sit on a chair. He had to sit on the ground on a sack. He couldn’t drink water out of the jug provided for the others, but had to wait till it was poured for him into his special cup. The teachers would beat the other pupils but him they threw clods of earth at. Why? He was an ‘Untouchable.’ It was a miracle he was at school at all. And he grew up to be Doctor Bhimrao Ambedkar, independent India’s first Law Minister, chair of the committee that wrote the constitution. Six weeks before his death he converted to Buddhism, and took hundreds of thousands of ‘untouchables’ with him. So, did Ambedkar work hand in hand with Gandhi and the other non-violent freedom fighters? No, his vision was starkly opposed to Gandhi’s, and this play shows their separate colliding paths and Gandhi’s ‘fast to the death’ against Ambedkar’s policy.
Moving between the worlds of the gods and the Indian street, from myth to propaganda, from an ‘untouchable’ boy to the Round Table Conference in London, this play shows the intensity of India’s struggle to win for itself not just independence but justice for all its citizens. Today Ambedkar’s constitution makes ‘untouchability’ illegal, but it remains imprinted on Hindu minds, and the struggle goes on. And in this struggle the figure of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar – Bhim - is becoming increasingly important, as the oppressed turn more and more to this beacon of humanity.
Peter Oswald was Writer in Residence at Shakespeare’s Globe, where three of his verse plays were performed. Other plays of his have been produced at the National Theatre, in the West End, on Broadway and around the world, including his version of the Ramayana, at Birmingham Rep and the Olivier. His version of Schiller’s Mary Stuart, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, won the South Bank Award. He is a founder member of Columbina Theatre company, for which he writes and performs. His published poetry includes Sonnets of Various Sizes (Shearsman Books) Weyland (Oberon Books) Three Folktales (Letterpress.) In 2016 he received a Society of Authors Travelling Scholarship. ‘The astonishing Peter Oswald,’ Society of Authors. At present he is touring, with Columbina, his version of the Icelandic saga of the Viking poet Egil. He lives in Devon with his wife Alice and three children.
Actress and director. RADA graduate.
There will be a post-show Q&A following the performance on Wed 5 July.
There will be a pre-show at 6pm on Thu 6 July with:
Kathryn Hunter, Director
Peter Oswald, Writer
Jatinder Verma, Artistic Associate
Ciaran Maguire, Chief Executive Officer, The Karuna Trust
Specific performances on Wed 5, Thu 6, Sat 8 (see above) will be British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted and captioned for D/deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences. Read more about BSL and captioned performances here.
Writer: Oliver Bennett
Paula is an academically gifted 35 year old woman who one day does something shocking; unacceptable and unspeakable.
This play is a collage of scenes from 15 years of her life. We see significant episodes in her life, interactions with her best friend, her mother, colleges and strangers. These are events, conversations and moments that have affected her psychological and political development. We see her argue with her family, get thrown out of school, join a revolutionary left-wing underground group, as well as seeing her sex life, drug use and humiliating employment.
We piece together her journey from idealistic teenager to left-wing activist, moderate liberal and finally to radical right-wing reactionary.
The play is a theatrical experiment to look at why and how this may have happened.