Thursday, 9 August 2018

#FeministFringe Hot Tips from Edinburgh 2018

Our first week of seeking feminist theatre at Edinburgh Fringe is over, and WHAT a wondrous week it has been! The representation and quality of work we’ve seen has been STRONG so far, and we’ve been applying stickers left, right and centre to posters of productions that pass the Bechdel test.
Follow us on instagram & twitter to keep up with our festival highlights in real-time.
We also took a moment out from seeing shows to record a podcast interview with Joana Nastari, creator of Fuck You Pay Me, which is dazzling audiences at Assembly Rooms every day at 15:25.
It’s a bit early yet to choose our ultimate #FeministFringe faves for this year, but we’ve had a few more shows appear on our radar since our pre-fringe recommendation blog.
So here are 23 shows that have made a strong impression on us since arriving in at the Fringe. We want to let you in on which tickets we think are HOT so you can get tickets before the sales go through the roof, or (if you’re not in Edinburgh) be ready to book yourselves in for the national tours as they’re announced.
Remember: you see something  pass the Bechdel test with flying colours that we haven’t listed here you can email us on or tag us on social media. If you see one of these shows on our recommendation and it changes your life for the better, feel free to thank us by becoming a Patreon and supporting us with $1 a month to keep up our work at Fringe and beyond!

(even) HOTTER, Bedlam, 21:30, August 1 – 27 (not 14, 21)
Two women interviewed people (between the ages of 13 and 97) about what gets them hot, to make a play about blushing, sweating, pinkness, and pleasure.

Trojan Horse, Summerhall, 15:15, August 1 – 26 (not 13)
Verbatim play adapted from the real-life testimonies of those at the heart of the government inquiry following allegations made towards ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.

Extinguished Things, Summerhall, 19:25, August 1 – 26 (not 2, 20)
Solo play written and performed by Molly Taylor in which a woman explores the empty house belonging to her neighbours, directed by Jade Lewis (who appeared on Bechdel Theatre Podcast last year talking about directing her previous Edinburgh Fringe show Quarter Life Crisis).

Baby Daddy, Assembly Rooms, 18:20, August 2 – 13
Autobiographical show about life as a young single mother, by Elinor Coleman, with original live music and recorded conversations with her young daughter. Finishes on the 13th, so make sure you get in there ASAP!

Freeman, Pleasance Courtyard, 17:00, August 1 – 27 (not 10)
Physical theatre show about the link between mental health and systemic racism, inspired by the first man in America to plead insanity as his defence in court.

Pickle Jar, Underbelly Cowgate, 16:40, August 2 – 26 (not 14)
Solo play about a teacher whose life becomes intertwined with her students, written and performed by Maddie Rice who performed Fleabag last year.

Miss Venezuela, Just The Tonic at The Mash House, 22:10, August 2 – 26 (not 13)
Queer carnival clown show about tearing up beauty standards, by Andrea Spisto, set against a hand-painted backdrop featuring the faces of her heroes.

Len Blanco: Firing Blancs, Revolution Bar, 21:40, August 5 – 10
Drag king show from ex-boyband member and newly woke feminist, Len Blanco. This one’s only on for a short run, so catch him before Friday.

Dangerous Giant Animals, Underbelly Cowgate, 12:00, August 2 – 26 (not 8, 13, 14, 21)
Solo play about living with a disabled sibling, and the violence of human nature, written and performed by Christina Murdock, whose story is based on her own relationship with her sister.
Dominoes, Asssembly George Square, 12:00, August 1 – 27 (not 8, 13, 20)
Solo play about a woman who discovers that her husband’s ancestors enslaved her own. Written and performed by Phoebe McIntosh.

Wacky Racists Bedlam, 23:00, August 17 & 24
Sophie Duker takes over the Bedlam late night comedy slot to host her bigot-crushing comedy cabaret gameshow. This night is always a hit in London, and the Edinburgh performances are fundraising for the memorial fund of Khadija Saye, the 24 year old artist who died in the Grenfell fire.

Evelyn Mok Pleasance Courtyard, 18:00, August 1 – 26
One of our feminist faves from last year is back at the Fringe, with a much anticipated follow up show to last year’s show.

Thrown by Jodi Gray, Underbelly Cowgate, 20:50, August 2 – 19
New play by Jodi Gray exploring the moment when we transition from childhood to adulthood, inspired by interviews with real people, and performed using a microphone shaped like a human head with the audience wearing headphones throughout.

Chase Scenes, Summerhall, 14:25, August 1 – 26 (not 6, 13, 20)
Canadian performance artist Ming Hon cuts to the chase, with 60 movie chase scenes re-enacted on stage in 60 minutes.

Century Song, Zoo Southside, 15:00, August 9 – 18 (not 15)
Exploring 100 years of Black women’s unspoken history through performance, music, and animated art. From original co-producers of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.

Ada Campe & the Psychic Duck, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, 14:50, August 2 – 26 (not 14)
Another performer we loved last year returns, having recently won Leicester Square Theatre’s ‘Old Comedian of the Year’ award. See Ada Campe for a healthy dose of silliness, magic and mayhem.

The Providence of Neighbouring Bodies, Underbelly Cowgate, 14:30, August 3 – 26 (not 13)
A dark comedy about beavers, beers, balconies, and America in chaos.

Zoo, Assembly George Square, 11:00, August 2 – 26 (not 13, 20)
New play about female friendship. Two very different women on either side of the Atlantic who bond over their shared love of working with animals, by Lily Bevan.

Island Town, Summerhall, times and dates vary – check the Fringe website.
A new production from the reliably excellent Paines Plough about three friends trying to break away from the town they live in.

Sticks and Stones, Summerhall, times and dates vary – check the Fringe website.
A satirical new play by BAFTA-nominated Vinay Patel about a misfiring joke and understanding each other in a technological age.

Six, Underbelly, George Square, 19:30, August  1 – 27 (not 13)
Feminist musical about the wives of King Henry VIII.

Polaris, Pleasance Courtyard, 12:55, August 1 – 27
Teenage girls trying to survive year ten, passing the Bechdel test by talking astronauts and dinosaurs whilst also dealing with toxic masculinity.

Daisy Earl and Sukh Ojla, Fireside Arch III, 19:30, August 16-26
A shared hour of stand-up between two rising comedy stars, including Sukh Ojla who had the crowd in stitches at our Bechdel test passing comedy night last year.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Bechdel Testing Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Heading up to Edinburgh Fringe and looking for shows to see that break from the stale/pale/male standard? 
Want to see something that represents you/the world as you recognise it/the changes you want to see/the FUTURE?
Look no further. 
Listed below are our pick of the shows we have on our radar to help you plan your most entertaining and intersectional Fringe visit, without a one-man-show in sight. These are either shows that we've seen in previews, or have on our radar via HEAVY recommendation and solid assurance that they pass the Bechdel test. Follow us on twitter, instagram, and fb, and subscribe to our podcast for regular updates detailed run-down of our favourites once we've seen them.

If you're going to Edinburgh during August and have or see a show that you think we should be talking about, please contact us by email: And make sure you say hi if you see us walking around in our Bechdel Theatre badges or t-shirts! 

Meanwhile, we're currently raising the funds for our Fringe campaign & coverage through various different platforms and would really appreciate your support if you're someone who enjoys and our work. Our train tickets, bedroom, and 'This Show Passes The Bechdel Test' stickers all need to be paid for before ASAP. Here are a few ways you can help us out with that:
  • Become a Patreon. This will allow you to continue supporting our work on a monthly basis, and also help to pay for regular outgoings like printing and web hosting. You can donate as little as $1 a month through Patreon (that's about 75p!), and as well as sending you badges, we update you first with all of our most exciting news and exclusive theatre ticket discount codes.
  • Donate to our crowdfunder to help us with or sticker printing, travel and accommodation costs. We'll give you rewards, like, badges, personalised videos, or a guest spot on our podcast.
  •  Share all of the above! We don't have a PR machine, please spread the hype!
Thanks for supporting, and happy Bechdel testing!

PS. If you're not going to Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, or don't have time while you're there to cram all these amazing shows in - we got you covered! Many of these productions are previewing in England before they head north of the border so we're flagging those up, and as always we'll be updating you on our podcast and social media whenever they announce a new transfer or tour - you will not miss out!

Queens Of Sheba Underbelly, Cowgate 
18:50 August 2 - 26 (not 13)
An unflinching look at misogynoir, this four-woman show does not shy away from the harsh realities faced by black women, but raises up their voices with joyously powerful words by Jessica Hagen. 
Listen to our podcast featuring Michelle Barwood reviewing Queens of Sheba when we saw an early preview of it last year.

Sparks Pleasance Courtyard
11:30 August 1 - 26 (not 8, 13, 20)
Written and performed by Jessica Butcher and Anoushka Lucas, this story of love and grief with an original live music score was a hit at VAULT Festival. Edinburgh Fringe goers, get ready to experience the astounding array of talent in this all-female team.

Hot Brown Honey Gilded Balloon Teviot
19:30 August 2 - 27 (not 8, 15, 23)
This show's been heavily featured on our Edinburgh recommendations lists for the past 3 years as a flawless piece of pure feminist empowerment, but we've heard that this year may be their last ever Fringe! If you haven't seen this all-WOC circus cabaret troupe of sublimely badass Aussies then make sure you don't miss your chance to join the revolution #DecoloniseAndMoisturise.
Subscribe to our podcast to hear our interview with a couple of the HBH Hive, out soon!
If you're not going to Edinburgh: You can see Hot Brown Honey at the Southbank Centre in London on 24 - 28th July, and also catch the show they've co-created with a team of creative UK Femmes of Colour: Hive City Legacy at Roundhouse July 10 - 21.

F**k You Pay Me Assembly Rooms 
15:25 August 2 - 26 (not 14, 21)
This one-woman show BY strippers and FOR strippers features Joana Nastari as Bea, who is on her way home from working (as a stripper) to face the judgement of her Catholic family who have just discovered what she does for a living. This show won a People's Choice award at VAULT Festival, and we heard so many people raving about it with such passion that we feel like it's got potential to reach cult-fave status before August is out.
If you're not going to Edinburgh you can get a taste of F**k You Pay Me at their preview on July 27th at Hoxton Square Bar + Kitchen.

WHITE Pleasance Courtyard 
11:30 August 15-27 (not 20)
Koko Brown uses her loop pedal and spoken word to tell stories from her experience of growing up mixed race. This show has been a hit with audiences at VAULT Festival and Ovalhouse, and is part of Koko's trilogy of three shows about race, gender, and mental health.
If you're not going to Edinburgh: Koko is part of Hot Brown Honey's (aforementioned) Hive City Legacy at Roundhouse, and has produced (and is performing at) Please Tick One: an unapologetic celebration of mixed race artists at The Cockpit on July 24th.  

One Life Stand Summerhall Roundabout 
21:45 August 1 - 26 (not 2, 7, 14, 21)
Middle Child, electrifying gig-theatre-makers and Paine's Plough associate company, are returning to Edinburgh with a new play about sex and intimacy, with a cast that features previous Bechdel Theatre Podcast guest Tanya Loretta Dee. Listen to Tanya on our 2017 Edinburgh Fringe podcast episode when we talked to her about the play she was in last year:, 'Offside', which is currently touring the UK with a new cast.
If you're not going to Edinburgh: You can catch One Life Stand at several different venues in Hull during July (including several Pay What You Can performances, and one BSL-interpreted performance on July 9th), and at Latitude Festival

Power Play: Funeral Flowers, Next time, Somebody, The Empty Chair Power Play Pop-Up HQ
13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:30 August 4 - 25 (not 7, 14, 21)
Power Play are taking over a whole house in Edinburgh that they're calling POWER PLAY HQ. Alongside staging four brand new plays by and about women, they'll be hosting activist events and one-off specials exploring and celebrating gender and representation at Fringe. They're also undertaking a massive data survey analysing gender representation at the Fringe. Safe to say we'll be spending a fair bit of time in this house of power!

Ladykiller Pleasance Courtyard
13:00 August 1 - 27 (not 14)
The latest offering from The Thelmas, uber feminist champions of new writing, is a blood-soaked morality tale by Madelaine Gould about social responsibility, zero-hours contracts and tearing up the gender rule book on psychopathy. 
If you're not going to Edinburgh: You can catch The Thelmas first full-length show, Offie-nominated Coconut by Guleraana Mir on tour until the end of June.

Skin A Cat Assembly Rooms
16:10 August 2 - 25 (not 13)
Isley Lynn's disarmingly hilarious and deeply personal story of self-love, sex, and acceptance was the our number one feel-good hit of 2015, and we're SO hyped to see it back, with Lydia Larson returning to the lead role of Alana. 

Finding Fassbender Pleasance Courtyard
11:45 August 1 - 27 (not 13)
Speaking of Lydia Larson, if you enjoy her sparkly-eyed warmth and dulcet Wolverhampton tones in Skin A Cat, be sure not to miss her starring in her own writing debut about a woman moving down to London from the Midlands and discovering a weird connection with a Hollywood actor.

Clingfilm Pleasance Courtyard
23:00 1 - 27 (not 13, 20)
This comedy cabaret trio are returning to Edinburgh Fringe after the success of their last show about body image, Private View. This one sees the unlikley girl band exploring what happens when a Pole, a Turk, and a Brit cross paths at a funeral. 
If you're not going to Edinburgh: (and even if you are tbh) you can check out Plunge's music video for their song Shallow

Love Songs Underbelly Cowgate
14:40 August 2 - 26 (not 15)
A one-woman rap and spoken word show featuring get-you-on-the-dance-floor music. It's about love, and a lot of it is about men, but not all of it. We trust Alissa's taste in music because she's dancing to BeyoncĂ© in the trailer. 
If you're not going to Edinburgh: Love Songs is previewing at Juju's bar on July 23rd, when they will also be playing host to a collection of other performers showcasing extracts from their Edinburgh Fringe shows.

Elf Lyons: ChiffChaff Pleasance Dome
18:30 August 1 - 27 (not 13)
The Queen of Clown is back, with a show about Economics. We trust it's going to be funny despite the serious topic, because Elf is hilarious, but we're also hoping that we might learn a thing or two as well. 

Egg: Richard Pictures Pleasance Courtyard
18:00 August 1 -26 (not 13)
Sketch comedy duo Egg are back after their glorious show Egg:Static split our sides in the best way possible last year. They're still not talking about fertility. They probably will mention feminism, though. 
If you're not going to Edinburgh: Egg have loads of previews in London.

Artcoholic Just The Tonic at the Caves
14:40 2 - 26 (not 13)
Muchachico is the drag king alter ego of Spanish comedy superstar Isa Bonachera (who is ALL OVER the Fringe, hosting her own horror-comedy and cabaret variety show Late Night Evil, and appearing as one half of sketch double act Agenda Benders). Muchachico is a very bad artist, but a very funny character who we can't wait to spend an afternoon with.
If you're not going to Edinburgh: 

Dragprov Revue Sweet Novotel
22:00 August 2 - 26 (not 14)
Another one-to-watch for our fellow drag-addicts, this King & Queen double act, loveable soft boy Christian Adore and sassy queen Eaton Messe perform sketches and music based on audience suggestions. 
If you're not going to Edinburgh: You can catch these two in London previews on July 16th & 28th

The LOL Word Three Broomsticks 
21: 15 August 4 - 25
A stand-up night with an all-queer women line-up, you say? We'll be there with our own all-queer line-up, eagerly waiting to be picked on and/or up in the front row.

Bish & Bob Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
19:15 August 1 - 26 (not 13)
Two of our absolute favourite stand-ups are sharing a bill together. Bisha K Ali (heard recently on the painfully relatable Grownupland podcast) and Kemah Bob (host of the wonderful FOC (Femmes Of Colour) It Up Comedy Club). It'll be personal, it'll be political, it'll be a dream come true. 

Duke Pop Bedlam Theatre
18:30 August 1 - 26 (not 14)
Another two funny #FeministFaves: Sophie Duker (self-declared SJW Princess and host of her own geniusly-titled 'Wacky Racists' comedy night) and Lulu Popplewell (self-declared recovering drug-addict and former child actor) are splitting this scorching hot comedy hour. 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Bechdel Testing Theatre: 2018

Welcome to our annual January run-down of the theatre productions that we’re most looking forward to - we don’t know if all of these shows will definitely pass the Bechdel test yet, but we hereby speculate that most of them will ace it.

After 2017 proved to be erm… Challenging? Busy? Intense? Exciting? A Lot, basically, for feminists everywhere. This has given creatives a lot to reflect on and carry on to in 2018, and the year in theatre is already off to a buzzing beginning. The shows at the top of our to-see list have already opened, so get your skates on to catch ‘Lobster’ and ‘Rita, Sue and Bob Too’, with ‘There or Here’ and ‘Calm Down Dear’ opening soon. They’ll all be excellent New Years-blues chasers.

For those of you without a spare moment in January, we’re looking ahead further into the future with plenty of recommendations to get us through the dark months and then spring into summer when we’ll be back with some choice Edinburgh fringe picks.

If you’re after regular updates as we discover more shows that pass the Bechdel test with flying colours, and some feministically inclined reviews of these shows once we’ve seen them, follow us on twitter, instagram, facebook, and subscribe to our podcast.

Lobster Theatre503 until Jan 20
A love story where the protagonists are two women in a relationship with each other? And it’s NOT an LGBTQ+ “issue play” but a sweet rom-com with a quirky sense of observational humour at its heart? We’re sold! ‘Lobster’ explores what happens when opposite personalities attract, when #relationshipgoals are not always shared, and the effects of mental health problems on couples. It’s a strong start to the year from 503 who have two more plays coming up this season: ‘Her Not Him’ and ‘Juniper & Jules’, which both centre queer women. How refreshing it will be to sit down to watch ‘Lobster’ and know it’s not a one-off chance at representation for women who love women at this theatre!

Rita, Sue and Bob Too Royal Court until Jan 27
This production came close to being overshadowed by the controversy over its removal and subsequent return to the Royal Courts programme in the wake of allegations against Out of Joint’s former artistic director. Having been reinstated after some excellent listening by the Royal Court’s Vicky Featherstone, Andrea Dunbur’s authorial voice in ‘Rita, Sue..’ is allowed to shine brightly and distinctively through the murky shadow that threatened to surround this production, and through the decades that have passed since it premiered. Dunbar’s play, more than just a shocking relic of the 80s, registers now as a vitally relevant and nuanced commentary on issues of power and sexuality. It’s clear that the cast creative team have a deep and authentic connection with its roots, and a confidence in the script that comes from a year of touring the show, as well as an immense trust in Dunbar’s truth. This year’s earliest must see.
If you like this: The Royal Court is also hosting The Andrea Project on Saturday Jan 20th. A day of free events inspired by the life, work and legacy of Andrea Dunbar.

Calm Down Dear Camden People’s Theatre until Sunday Feb 4
The always awesome ‘Calm Down Dear’ festival of feminist theatre at Camden People’s Theatre is back and as necessary as ever. Headlining this year is one of our absolute feminist faves Racheal Ofori, following up on her one-woman show ‘Portrait’ (which we spoke about on our podcast in December) with a new piece called ‘So Many Reasons’ (which is also going to be at Ovalhouse and On Tour, if you can’t make it to Camden People’s Theatre).
Plus: the first chance to catch a glimpse of new shows by Vanessa Kisuule, Caroline Horton, and Libby Liburd.

There or Here The Park 23 Jan – 17 Feb
The company behind 2013’s hit show ‘Yellow Face’, Special Relationship productions (a company set up to give greater exposure to under-represented groups in theatre) are back with ‘There or Here’: a relationship comedy with a serious issue at its heart. This new play by Jennifer Maisel tells the story of an American couple who travel to India in search of a surrogate to carry their child.
Subscribe to our podcast to hear more from Rakhee Thakrar who we’ve just interviewed about her role in the show for our upcoming January episode.
See you there: Bechdel Theatre is hosting a post-show conversation after ‘There or Here’ on Feb 1st, where you can join us in a relaxed gathering to talk with other audience members and some of the creative team about themes of the play.

VAULT Festival Jan 24 - Mar 18
With a 52% gender split in favour of women, pickings are rich if you’re seeking feminist theatre in this year’s super-sized VAULT Festival. We’ll be there with stickers, highlighting which shows pass the #BechdelTest, and there will surely be more added to the list of shows on our radar as we discover them, so keep an eye on our twitter, facebook and instagram and an ear to our podcast.
First Picks, in chronological order to help you plan your festival - you’re welcome: Fuck You Pay Me (24 - 28 Jan), For A Black Girl (24 - 28 Jan) The Breaks In You and I (31 Jan - 4 Feb), Madonna or Whore (31 Jan - Feb 4), The Internet Was Made For Adults (Feb 7 - 11), Finding Fassbender (Feb 14 - 15), The Vagina Dialogues (Feb 14-18), I Have A Mouth And I Will Scream (Feb 14 - 18), Elsa (Feb 14 - 18) The Quantum Physics of My Heart (21 - 25 Feb), Borderline (Feb 24), Split (Feb 28 - Mar 4), Good Girl (Feb 28 - Mar 4), Boots (7 - 11 Mar), Things That Do Not C(o)unt (14 - 18 Mar).
Into The Numbers Finborough Theatre Jan 2 - 27th
This European premiere of ‘Into the Numbers’ commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre. A “theatrical exploration of the philosophical and psychological implications of researching genocide, as well as the toll media saturation plays in the process”, the play centres around a lecture by Iris Chang, who wrote a book about the massacre, and later committed suicide. The production features an impressive cast, including the wonderful Jennifer Lim, who appeared in our ‘Bechdel Testing Life’ show at The Bunker in July 2017.

Oranges and Elephants Hoxton Hall 23 Jan – 10 Feb
Former East-End Music hall (restored in 2015) Hoxton Hall’s spring season is titled ‘Female Parts’ - so-called because all the shows in their next three month’s programme have an all-female creative cast and creative team. Headlining is ‘Oranges and Elephants’: a new musical, in a Victorian England setting appropriate to its atmospheric venue, about two rival female gangs involved in a turf-war.

Collective Rage 24 Jan – 17 Feb
Five women called Betty, each played by a mega-talented performers, from West End star Johnnie Fiori to cabaret darling Lucy McCormick, will collide in this “joyously anarchic” show, which promises to reject shame and stereotype and “shatter lacquered femininity into a thousand glittering pieces” at Southwark playhouse from January 24th. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year.
Bonus: Southwark are hosting a number of excellent looking post-show events alongside this production - of particular interest is Jan 26th’s #SecondHalf post-show panel which features some of our #feministfave playwrights (including previous podcast guest Yolanda Mercy) talking about how they provoke rage on stage.

96 Festival at Clapham Omnibus 2 - 28 Feb
Clapham Omnibus’ festival of LGBTQ+ Theatre is named after, and in celebration of, the year in which nearby Clapham Common hosted the Pride march after-party. The programme, which seems on first look to be intriguingly experimental and refreshingly filled with women’s stories, includes Jenifer Toksvig’s solo conversation-musical about Bisexuality, Stella Duffy’s improvised show about Death. and Amie Taylor’s children’s show about two princesses finding each other, Once Upon A City.

Writer/performer Bella Heesom is reunited with the team behind her verbosely titled ‘My World Has Exploded A Little Bit’, which stimulated both our intellect and our heartstrings at Edinburgh Fringe in 2016. ‘Rejoicing…’ is an exploration of sexuality, via an investigation into the connection between the brain and the clitoris. The show’s short run at Ovalhouse in Februrary is the first of what we hope will be many chances to catch Bella’s new show in 2018.

Jubilee Lyric Hammersmith 15 Feb ‐ 10 Mar
Following a successful run in Manchester, ‘Jubilee’ (an updated adaptation of the 1978 cult film of the same name) brings its punk rock riot to London. Starring alongside Toyah Willcox are a fabulous and ferocious band of gender warriors including performance artist Travis Alabanza and founding member of Pecs Drag Kings collective Temi Wilkey.

Breaking Loose Festival Bread & Roses Theatre Feb 18 - 25
A much needed “Festival of Intersectionality and Solidarity” from the Bread and Roses artistic director Tessa Hart’s theatre company Gobin Baby. The programme has not been announced yet but if the premise is anything to go by the this could be a highlight of this London’s feminist theatre calendar.  

The Great Wave National Theatre 10 March - 14 April
A family tragedy with a global political dimension, set in Japan and North Korea. Not only are we thrilled to see a mother/daughter/sister relationship at the centre of a story with international significance, but we’re super psyched for the incredible team that are bringing the story to life. The Great Wave will be directed by Tricycle Theatre’s artistic Indhu Rubasingham, with movement direction by Polly Bennett - the woman behind the groundbreaking physicality of ‘People Places and Things’ (and co-founder of The Mono Box), with a cast that features Frances Mayli McCann who was part of the phenomenal ensemble of women who made ‘Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour’ one of our favourite shows of recent years at the National.  
Speaking of The Mono Box: we're hosting a workshop for actors there on Tues January 30th. It's going to be fun. Come along if you like passing the Bechdel test on stage.

Caroline or Change Hampstead Theatre 12 Mar - 21 April
If you missed this Olivier award-winning musical when it sold out at Chichester last year, now’s your chance to see it in London with Sharon D. Clarke reprising her acclaimed performance as the title character at Hampstead Theatre. With 5 star reviews across the board it’s not hard to imagine that this show has a West End transfer on the cards - so catch it if you can before the ticket prices soar.

Nine Night National Theatre 21 April - 26 May
Making her debut as a writer, having previously appeared on stage as an actor at the Royal Court and RSC, Natasha Gordon brings to the National stage a gathering of several generations of one family as they take part in the Jamaican Nine Night Wake ritual in mourning for their mother and grandmother, Gloria. Another excellent team taking to the Dorfman stage for this show, with a cast including Cecilia Noble, Franc Ashman, and Rebekah Murrell.

Leave Taking The Bush 24 May - 30 June
This new production of Winsome Pinnock's hit 1991 play is part of yet another fantastic season at the Bush, which continues to go from strength-to-strength after its refurbishment under the artistic directorship of Madani Younis, for whom representation means anything but cynical “box-ticking” and more like a driving force and a reason to make theatre - to reflect the world we live in. ‘Leave Taking’ in particular is special as a 30 year-old play being staged at a theatre which normally specialises in brand new writing, which Younis has chosen to direct himself. We're looking forward to seeing how the play, which depicts the relationships between an immigrant Mother and her English-born daughters, resonates with today’s audience.

Grotty The Bunker May 1 - 26
Fresh from the success of their ‘Damsel Develops’ project which showcased the work of female theatre directors at The Bunker in London Bridge, uber-feminist theatre company Damsel Productions are returning to the venue with a “dark and savage” brand new play about the London lesbian scene, written by Izzy Tennyson and directed by Damsel's Artistic Director Hannah Hauer-King, who Bechdel fans may remember directed one of the short plays we showcased as part of Bechdel Testing Life at The Bunker.

Fun Home The Young Vic 18 June - 1 Sept
This is the one we’ve been waiting for! Since discovering that our hero Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir 'Fun Home', about her relationship with her Father had been adapted for the stage in 2013 we’ve been dreaming of the day that UK audiences would have the chance to see it. It’s a soul-searingly honest story of love, loss, and coming out in small-town America filled with a suitably tender and heart-swelling songs. Writers Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori both won Tony awards for their work on the show which also won Best Musical, and was nominated in almost every category in 2015. If you see one musical this year, make it Fun Home.

Bring It On Southwark Playhouse 2 Aug - Sept 1
Fans of the 2000 cheerleader comedy movie, and the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda (‘Hamilton’ and ‘In The Heights’) should be very excited. ‘Bring It On: The Musical’ was first shown in the US in 2011 where it gained momentum on tour and a Broadway transfer. Get your tickets now, if the popularity of Miranda’s musicals on London stages is anything to go by, this will be hugely in-demand and tons of fun.

Emilia Shakespeare's Globe 10 Aug – 1 Sept
The Globe has retained its commitment to gender-balanced casting post-Emma Rice and the new artistic director, esteemed actor Michelle Terry, has some interesting ideas including director-less ensemble productions which put the performers in the driving seat of several well-known Shakespeare plays. However, the announcement that peaked our interest the most in this summer’s season was a brand new play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, to be directed by Nicole Charles, about the life of Emilia Bassano: A 16th Century poet who by the sounds of it deserves a much bigger name for herself in the history books than being known as someone who “might have been” the Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Sylvia The Old Vic 1 - 22 Sept
Co-written by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar, this new musical will use dance, hip-hop, soul and funk music to tell the life of Sylvia Pankhurst and the role she played in the Suffragette movement. The production co-incides with the 100 year anniversary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918 which gave some women the right to vote for the first time, and hopefully will provide a good moment to reflect on how far society has really come in achieving true equality, and stimulation in considering what still needs to be done.
Interested in the link between artists and activism? The National Theatre is holding an Equality and Arts panel discussion on Feb 2nd chaired by Samira Ahmed, about how arts and culture have influenced and supported the equality movement in the past and today.

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