Performances, rehearsals and planning for the future!

“Shoulder To Shoulder” – 100 years of women’s suffrage

Well we’ve now done two performances for “Shoulder To Shoulder” – one at the MK Lit Fest in a very small space and then one last week at Stantonbury Theatre on a wider and expansive stage. 

Both went well and we have received some great feedback. Devising a piece is a scary process and of course one never knows whether the audience will like it or not. From the rapturous applause though it appears they did! 

We appeared in the first half of the show and then after the interval Stantonbury students performed their new piece entitle “Suffrajitsu” written by Ben Hales and directed by Lucy Cuthbertson, it really was a fantastic piece of theatre. Year 10 students played suffragettes and Year 7 students played the police. 

It was energetic and riveting and the students clearly got a lot from it.  Not only did they enjoy performing, but the students and told me how much they had learned about this period of history and what better way to learn  than by bringing to life through theatre.  It was a fantastic evening at the theatre. 

The two Oxfordshire groups will be performing on Tuesday 16th October 7.30pm at Cornerstone Arts Centre or 01235 515144. Our final performance is on Sunday 21st October at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton, where you can catch all five new pieces of work of 01604 624811

Funded by Arts Council England, Awards For All, MK Community Foundation, South Oxfordshire District Council.

Audience feedback

Just to let you know I was in the audience last night and congratulations for excellent performances from you all. Even my 24 year old son enjoyed it. Steven Mead

We really enjoyed the evening. Thank you.   Rosemary Wright

A few of our guild members went to watch an excellent performance at Stantonbury Theatre tonight, in celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage. The second half, titled “Suffrajitsu” was performed by some brilliant students from years 10 and 7. In the first half, written by Mark Niel (Poet Laureate) and Rosemary Hill. Mark was one of our visitors a couple of years ago. The excellent cast performed various sketches. I particularly liked the part where 2 girls went back in time to do some research for a history test and asked the women if they were suffering!!  They let them know they had won the right to vote and also dropped in that there is a female Prime Minister. The “Suffragettes” were over the moon at this news! In their excitement they asked the girls if they use their vote, to which they replied, “on X factor”!!  

We’ve come along way but there are still inequalities happening around the world. This highlighted how far we’ve come. #votesforwomen  MK Towns Womens Guild

"Shoulder To Shoulder" made me laugh and cry last night. Thoroughly recommend it to everyone! Hannah Minns

It was great. And a lovely pairing with the Stantonbury piece afterwards. Lovely to know drama is alive and well. Deborah Cooper

Congratulations everyone. Lovely to see a powerful piece of devisory theatre. It’s what I grew up on and I love it. Some great moments. Shahnaz Hussain

What a fantastic performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very resonant, and the entire cast was superb. Natasha Huckle.

“Entertaining Mr Sloane” by Joe Orton

We are now well into rehearsals and what a joy it is to be in the rehearsal room all day and every day with this fantastic cast. The play is so very funny but also very dark and here has been much laughter as well as discussion about Joe Orton. 

This was his first full length play and it is a very assured piece of work. Yesterday we ran through the first half and the cast were “off book” which was brilliant. The cast have also done some fantastic research on the politics of the time as well as looking at the legal system, health and education. We’ve also looked at travel, music and films.  We love to build the world of play which is set in 1964.  Kevin Jenkins brought in the costumes and we then went out and about taking some publicity photos. The set is amazing as it always is with Kevin designing it. Today I have been going through songs of the early sixties in order to prepare for a studio session next week putting together the sound and music for the show. This is always great fun!

Future plans

Next year we are planning something really rather different  with MK Gallery so watch this space.

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