Female writers, directors and performers experiment and innovate at RADA Festival

David's Bunker by Lily Bevan image

David’s Bunker by Lily Bevan

The RADA Festival returns to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art this summer from 22 June – 2 July, with a programme including 30 different theatre companies and two one-off forum events. Graduates of the Academy will return to RADA to present works ranging from rehearsed readings and one-person shows, to cabaret, comedy and reinventions of the classics.

One of the themes of the Festival is Women’s Identity, and it seems like the majority of work is by female writers, directors and performers, and female-male collaborations.

A panel debate, Sisterhood (24 June, 6pm), chaired by Bonnie Greer, will present a lively and frank debate on the solidarity and celebration of women, based on shared conditions, experiences and concerns within theatre and everyday life. Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Emma Rice, RADA Acting graduate Tanya Moodie, co-founder of Women@RADA Melanie Jessop and director of Tonic Theatre Lucy Kerbel all join the discussion.

During the festival some of the presentations include:

In The Gut (25 & 29 June) by Les Femmes Ridicule. This funny, tragic and ridiculous show about pregnancy, parenting and growing up involves an array of charming and grotesque characters: chefs with birthing recipes, smug mothers, barmy historians and more. The show is supported by The Miscarriage Association and The Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

Sweets and Chocolate (23 Jun – 1 Jul), supported by Kali Theatre uses movement and music to tell the stories of three women from three different cultures. It explores the effects of child abuse on three seemingly unconnected lives: Nadia, a cricket-obsessed Pakistani girl; M’Bilia, a devout churchgoer in the Congo; and Catherine, the headmistress of an English private school.

The Power Behind The Crone (22 & 27 June) is an exuberant monologue reflecting on the roles for older women in Shakespeare, discovering first-hand the full power and glory of Shakespearean ‘crones’.

One-woman show Foreign Body (27 & 29 June), about hope, healing and forgiveness after sexual assault, uses a charged combination of verbatim and physical theatre to tell a brave, liberating and life-affirming story. The show will be supported by a Q&A session featuring representatives from The Forgiveness Project and Clear Lines.

There are lots of other interesting looking performances, a few others that caught my eye are: are Songstring, Today I live, Birdwatching and Sisterbound, as well as a radio play, David’s Bunker.

For the full event listings, visit www.rada.ac.uk/festival. Tickets start at £5.

About 17Percent

A campaign to get more plays by women playwrights onto UK stages.
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