Tricycle theatre examines women in politics

Published March 17, 2010

The Tricycle theatre is to present a season of work focusing on the history and current role of women in British politics, programmed to run shortly after this summer’s general election.

The season, entitled Women, Power And Politics, features nine new plays which are presented in two parts – Then and Now – to be performed on alternate evenings from 4 June to 17 July (press day 11 June).

The first part, Then, examines the history of women and politics and features new plays by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Marie Jones, Moira Buffini and Lucy Kirkwood. Their work covers topics including Elizabeth I, the Suffragette movement in Ireland, the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen, and the political protests at Greenham Common during the 1980s.

Playwrights Joy Wilkinson, Bola Agbaje, Zinnie Harris, Sam Holcroft and Sue Townsend present plays with a more contemporary focus for the second part of the season, Now. The five plays examine issues surrounding women’s current participation in politics, including voter apathy, candidate selection, student politics and the birth of New Labour.

The new plays are accompanied by verbatim monologues edited by Gillian Slovo from interviews she has conducted with female politicians including Oona King, Edwina Currie, Clare Short, Ann Widdecombe and Jacqui Smith.

In addition, the work of three emerging young playwrights Lydia Adetunji, Abbie Spallen and David Watson will be presented alongside the main season in an early evening slot called Curtain Raisers.

Indhu Rubasingham, who directs the season, commented: “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.”               
 
Women, Power And Politics continues the Tricycle’s commitment to presenting timely and topical work that holds a mirror to our political and social decisions. Recent seasons have included Not Black And White, which examined the state of cultural diverse 21st century Britain, and The Great Game: Afghanistan, which explored the turbulent history of Afghanistan.

The season, which also includes a selection of documentaries in the cinema and an exhibition in the gallery, plays at the Tricycle following the return of Filter’s Twelfth Night, which plays from 4 to 29 May.

CB