Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield – Saturday 26th May 2018
Reviewed By Dawn Smallwood
Mikron Theatre is a very unique theatre company and is renowned to reach audiences at many venues possible across the country with their British themed productions. Founded in 1972 they have approximately written 60 plays including one of their latest, Revolting Women, and opens at Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre. This new production coincides with 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage.
Written by Vashti Maclachlan, Revolting Women is about Sylvia Pankhurst (Daisy Ann Fletcher), the less well-known one than to her mother (Emmeline) and her sister (Christabel), during the suffrage movement around the First World War. She gets acquainted with Lettie (Rosamund Hine) and they together fight for women to get the vote and persistently push this right with parliament including the prime minister. Pankhurst with the support of the women in London’s East End faces opposition and imprisonment with her commitment.
The four person cast (Fletcher, Hine, Christopher Arkeston and James McLean) performs all the characters; doubling up as live musicians, introducing and narrating text and facts, playing and singing songs which are full of political and social satire which are controversial and thought provoking. The theme focuses on how Pankhurst and her supporters address this universal suffrage before the war and 10 years after the war when all the women here got the vote. Celia Perkins’ staging is simplistically small but importantly versatile, bearing in mind that Revolting Women will tour many venues including non theatrical ones, and does fully serve the production’s purpose.
This production excellently gives insight into the women’s suffrage movement from the eyes of a lesser well known member of the Pankhurst family. Sylvia Pankhurst was determined to fight, more so after when the women began getting the votes, against social inequality and discrimination around the world including fascism experienced in Ethiopia. Similar parallel plights, particularly for women rights and equality, are still fought and drawn today. There are the notable victories achieved especially in light of the very recent events in Ireland.
Under the direction of Jonny Kelly this is a production worth seeing on its 2018 tour across the many venues scheduled to host Revolting Women. It is an excellent production with a stellar cast who portray the roles well, first class entertainment, wit, and memorable catchy tunes and songs (composed by Kieran Buckeridge).
On tour until October 2018