Writer : Boff Whalley
Director : Justin Audibert
Reviewer : Sarah Dee
“Agitating for vote” is how Annie Wilde, the mill-girl from Lancashire describes her journey from the small town of Nelson to becoming a suffragette and fighting Parliament in London.
Wrong ‘Un A Suffragettes Story is a one hander, one act production by Red Ladder Theatre Company. It is an entertaining story of Annie Wilde who shares her life story of injustice, self-doubt and fear from the classroom in Nelson to imprisonment and torture. The musical drama draws on class, hope and disappointment in wartime England.
The show is both a funny and touching piece of theatre which explores the theme of the power of protest. Ella Harris delivers a stunning enactment which has the audience mesmerised for the entire hour.
A fascinating story, coupled with a funny yet poignant script by Chumbawamba’s founding member Boff Whalley. Whalley was prompted to write the play upon hearing how a friend had discovered her grandmother’s hundred year old suffragette memorabilia. It showcases the subject of the suffragette movement which is a gentle reminder of this piece of history that changed society through the actions of these brave and determined women. The pace of the script is spot on, it flows freely during the humorous tales but then slows down when the story turns to imprisonment and force-feeding.
Designer Ali Allen uses a set comprising of a simple living room in wartime Britain and the few props that are on display are used to enhance the storytelling. Whether it be a broom to sing with, or feathers to discuss enlistment into the army, each item serves a purpose in Annie Wilde’s journey.
Ella Harris gives an extremely strong performance. To act, sing and engage with the audience for sixty minutes is no mean feat, and Harris delivers a first-class show.
Reviewed on Thursday 16 January 2014.