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Caryl Churchill: Celebrating International Women’s Day with Cambridge University Press

For well over half a century, Caryl Churchill’s plays have been enriching the landscape of British theatre. As David Hare astutely observed on her seventieth birthday celebrations held at the Royal Court in 2008: ‘The principal question you can ask of any artist is: what difference would it have made if they’d never existed? Would … Continue reading

Here We Go – Caryl Churchill

Here We Go, Caryl Churchill’s short, 45-minute play at the National, directed by Dominic Cooke, has divided the critics. They either love it or loathe it. I find myself being schizophrenically split between being deeply moved by the play’s reflections on mortality and yet somewhat frustrated by the lack of a more explicit, palpable political … Continue reading

The House – Carran Waterfield, 25th November

Stories of women’s experience of the workhouse shape the solo performance of The House, devised and performed by Carran Waterfield, and created as part of Jenny Hughes’  AHRC-funded research project ‘Poor Theatres’ (  The eighteenth-century Heron Corn Mill at Milnthorpe, Cumbria ( provided an atmospheric setting for the piece as we sat listening to historical … Continue reading

‘Female Narrative’ Sphinx Salon, London, 14th November 2015

Sue Parrish organised this valuable Salon in response to comments on ‘strong female roles’ by Vicky Featherstone, published in the Independent It was an inspirational meeting: wonderful insights from women writers, performers and makers across the generations; such a tonic to be in a room full of ‘women-and-theatre’ conversations. My thanks go to Sue … Continue reading


This November Sphinx Theatre will be holding 2 salon events focussing on feminism and theatre. The Female Narrative 14th November 2015 2.30pm – 4.30pm The Actors Centre WC2H 9NP A conversation with acclaimed playwright April de Angelis and Professor Elaine Aston of Lancaster University chaired by Sphinx Artistic Director Sue Parrish on the place of … Continue reading

The Skriker: Royal Exchange Manchester

I find it hard to think of anyone playing the role of Caryl Churchill’s Skriker other than Kathryn Hunter who made the part her own in the original production at the National Theatre in 1994. The play, a dystopian themed, dark-tale for contemporary times, baffled the critics with its collision of an ailing spirit world … Continue reading

Monologues for Women and Sarah Daniels

Methuen recently commissioned me to write an introduction for a new edition of Sarah Daniels’ Masterpieces, a play which debuted in 1983 and in which Daniels dramatized her politically provocative and powerful radical-feminist critique of pornography. Coming back to Masterpieces I was forcibly struck by the way in which over thirty years later the issue … Continue reading

Pests (Royal Court Theatre) Vivienne Franzmann

Pests is a female buddy drama about two sisters, Pink and Rolly, who come from an underclass world of drugs, poverty, lack of education, violence, abuse and prison. The play was commissioned by Clean Break, a company founded in 1979 to assist women offenders and give theatrical voice to their lives and experiences of the … Continue reading

Nut – debbie tucker green at The Shed (NT)

When it comes to debbie tucker green, I am quite simply a fan. Her beautiful but brutalising powers of linguistic invention coupled with a highly-charged political voice make Green one of the most accomplished and innovative dramatists on the contemporary British stage. Unlike other of her recent plays that have appeared at the Royal Court … Continue reading