The question of why there so few women in certain roles in the theatre (such as playwright, lead roles, directing) is beginning to be asked within the industry, and around the country; but it appears that the West of England is bucking the trend. In Bath and Bristol there is a growing culture of women working to create challenging and distinct new theatre.
‘Bike’, by Katherine Mitchell, is the fourth world premiere of clever and provocative new writing by women produced by Bath-based theatre company Butterfly Psyche Theatre. Their work has including Tobacco Factory Script Space winner (2009) ‘Water’s Not So Thick’, by Gill Kirk (**** Venue Magazine) and most recently, ‘Fertility Objects’ by Alison Farina (**** What’s on Stage).
Katherine’s witty new script examines with humour and sensitivity the universal quest for acceptance, self-esteem and love. It’s the story of sexual revolution and the art of two-wheeling from the point of view of one woman whose dark secret is closer than it appears in her rear view mirror. Will she face it at the next junction or leave it behind in the dust?
Katherine says, “When I looked back over my life, there was a tenuous connection between bicycles and relationships with men and it seemed to offer fertile ground for developing a play. I might have to change my name and move house once the word gets out, but I think it’s going to be worth it.”
‘Bike’ is not only written by a woman, but is directed, produced and stars some of the area’s most exciting new female talent. The team of creatives involved in bringing this show to the stage includes; Nancy Medina, Artistic Director of Corner Theatre and author of the Directing blog, Is the Director Dead? Nancy was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is now based in Bristol, where she is a freelance director and producer; Jenny Johns, actor,voice-over artist and graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where she won the Newton Blick Award for Outstanding Versatility and Alison Farina, Artistic Director, Writer and Producer for Butterfly Psyche Theatre.
Alison says, “Butterfly Psyche Theatre is committed to producing new writing for the theatre and especially in providing support and encouragement to women writers and theatre-makers. I am so pleased to have snapped up Katherine’s script before anyone else! It’s funny, relatable and relevant with a great story and a warm engaging character. It’s also an excellent opportunity to showcase strong female talent in two of the area’s most exciting venues. What more could a producer ask for?”
The show runs from October 5th & 6th at The Rondo Theatre, Bath and October 21st and 22nd at the Bristol Bierkeller.
Rondo tickets can be booked at the Bath Box Office (01225 463362) or, if available, on the door half an hour before the performance and The Bristol Bierkeller can be booked online at their Box Office, by phone on 0117-930-4264 or on the door half an hour before the performance.