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Suffragettes100: Historical play at Queen’s Theatre reveals hidden voices of those who fought for women’s vote

PUBLISHED: 10:26 06 November 2018

Standing on their Shoulders features hidden stories of people who fought for women's suffrage. Picture: PA

Standing on their Shoulders features hidden stories of people who fought for women's suffrage. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A play that reveals some of the hidden stories of people who fought for women’s suffrage is coming to Hornchurch.

Standing on their Shoulders is a play which combines new work by local writers with dramatic readings.

Local Girl Productions started the project to trace the struggle for equality from the publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 to the present day.

Lauren Bracewell, director of Local Girl Productions, said: “The show commemorates and celebrates 100 years since women won the right to vote.

“As a group we did lots of research about various suffragettes that people may have not heard of before.

“Eleven of the participants wrote scenes and monologues based on the research and we then worked with a dramaturge who put everything into one coherent theatre piece.”

The show is part of Outer Limits, a company that enables emerging artists from the outer east London area and Essex to showcase their work in theatres.

“We’re really keen to broaden perception of people that won the vote,” said Lauren.

“For example there was a massive working class group who were part of the campaign.

“Some of the women [featured in the play] are famous, such as Emmeline Pankhurst, while the others, like Annie Kenney and Rosa May Billinghurst are less well-known.

“Annie Kenney was one of the most prominent working class campaigners who had begun working at a mill at the age of 10, and Rosa May Billinghurst was a disabled campaigner. There were also lots of LGBTQ women involved in the struggle.”

Local Girl Productions will be collecting donations of toiletries from the audience for Havering Women’s Aid on the night of the performance.

Speaking about why people should come to see the show, Lauren said: “I think it’s a really eye-opening piece of theatre that enables you to think about the history you think you know, and a chance to find out more about these hidden voices who sacrificed a lot.”

Standing on their Shoulders is playing at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane on Tuesday, November 20 at 8pm.

For tickets visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call 01708 443333.

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