8th March is International Women's Day. The date was selected as, throughout the early part of the Twentieth century, it was a significant date in the campaign for women's suffrage. This included a key strike by female workers in St Petersburg in 1917, which arguably was the beginning of the Russian revolution. Four days after this strike the Tsar abdicated and women in Russia were granted the right to vote nearly a year before the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to some women in the UK.
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of that Act and events are happening up and down the country throughout the year to celebrate that anniversary, including our own production of Women in Power this autumn. Even a century on, the reality is that there is still much to be done to ensure a parity of opportunities between genders.
Aristophanes’ play The Assembly Women, the basis of our production, starts with the women of Athens overthrowing the government. In 390BC this idea was intended as an outrageous, political satire; a thing that was so unlikely that it was hilarious. 2,400 years later and, whilst we do have a female Prime Minister, only 32% of MPs are women. The arts fare a little better - 46% of the workforce of Arts Council England funded National Portfolio Organisations are female though women are still underrepresented in leadership roles within these NPOs. Our production will be made by an assembly of women led by Associate Director Blanche McIntyre and will be a catalyst for conversation about how this picture can change: how women can become future leaders and have their voices heard. We look forward to you joining the conversation in September.
Caroline Routh, Executive Director
Saturday 8th - Saturday 29th September
Based on The Assembly Women by Aristophanes
Created by an Assembly of Women
Directed by Blanche McIntyre