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Suffrage Plays - Taking the Stage

Naomi Paxton - Editor Price: $26.95

An Anthology of 12 short Suffrage Plays which follows the much admired and greatly valued Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays

As with its predecessor, Suffrage Plays - Taking the Stage provides invaluable source material to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines

And again, as well as unfolding a unique insight into the social manners and ideas of their time, all the plays are eminently performable and offer particularly strong, varied roles for women

It features a wide variety of short pieces and one-act plays written by female and male suffragist writers between 1908-1914.

Spanning different styles and genres they explore many issues that interested feminist and suffragist campaigners, such as:

The value of women's work

Domestic and economic inequality

Visibility in public space

Direct action and its consequences

Sexual double standards

And the influence of the media on public opinion.

Edited and introduced by Dr Naomi Paxton, the anthology is brimming with in-depth knowledge, photographs and contextual information of the period making for an informative and inspirational volume that's perfect for both performance and study

CONTENTS

Introduction by Naomi Paxton

This will introduce the role and importance of theatre and performance in the Edwardian suffrage campaign, and introduce each piece in turn with its original performance context, biographical information about the writer and an analysis of its particular themes and ideas

The 12 short one-act plays are ...

Anti-Suffrage Waxworks ~ Cicely Hamilton (1908) adapted by Naomi Paxton

Based on Mrs Jarley's Waxworks, a very popular late-Victorian and an early-Edwardian entertainment, Hamilton's Anti-Suffrage Waxworks

The original script does not survive, but Paxton recreated the piece from contemporary descriptions of the Anti-Suffrage Waxworks and through the format of Mrs Jarley's Waxworks

Might is Right ~ Netta Syrett (1909) - M4,F8

In this ensemble comedy, a group of suffragist women kidnap the Prime Minister and refuse to release him until he agrees to give women the vote

It was originally performed at the Haymarket Theatre, London

A Woman's Influence ~ Gertrude Jennings (1909) - M1,F4

This popular suffrage play explores the topic of female 'sweated' labour, and the relationships between women and men

Press Cuttings ~ George Bernard Shaw (1909) - M3,F3

This satirical comedy ridicules anti-suffragists and politicians

Woman This and Woman That ~ Laurence Housman (1910)

This poem - a pastiche of Rudyard Kipling's Tommy, was popular within the campaign and championed by the Actresses' Franchise League and Sylvia Pankhurst's East London Federation of Suffragettes

The Twelve Pound Look ~ J.M. Barrie (1910) - M2,F2

This short play from the author of Peter Pan is about independence and the value of women's work

For One Night Only ~ Gladys B. Stern (1911) - M1,F5

This piece is set backstage in a touring pantomime, and looks at the pressures of life on the road for young actresses

10 Clowning Street ~ Joan Dugdale (1913) - M4,F3

A piece by a militant campaigner and actress about a publicity stunt carried out by an anti-suffragist Prime Minster which backfires

Her Will ~ Christopher St John (1914) - M3,F4

In this short play, the family of a suffragette meet to hear the reading of her Will

And some of them do not like what they hear

Su L' Pave ~ Gladys Mendl (1914)

This short piece is presented as a comical verbatim account of the experiences of a suffrage newspaper seller on the street

It presents a snapshot of Edwardian London that is fascinating, and is a good stimulus for work-shopping and devising material around visibility in public space

Which ~ Evelyn Glover (1914) - M2,F2

This short play features a young nurse, who has been offered a job overseas

She comes to tell her father about the opportunity, but he is not as pleased as she had hoped

Bibliography

SEE ALSO:

Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art

Votes for Women and Other Plays

Lena Ashwell - Actress, Patriot, Pioneer

The Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays

For more WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE TITLES
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