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March 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Still tickets left for performance at the Cheviot Centre on Friday March 9th – don’t miss out, add your name to the list of those coming along.
Sell-out play celebrates women getting the vote
100 years after women got the vote, the acclaimed play ‘Sylvia’, about suffragette and artist Sylvia Pankhurst, is coming to the Borders as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
Jackie Mulhallen, the author and sole performer said “Sylvia was a leading figure in the fight for the vote and for better pay and working conditions for working women, but she is often forgotten. An accomplished artist, she also painted the first ever series of pictures of working women, including the bondagers, and these pictures are part of the show.”
Sylvia Pankhurst has been hailed as the “greatest Englishwoman of the 20th century”, and this play about her has already sold out in Wolverhampton and Salford. It is being staged at The Cheviot Centre in Wooler on Friday 9th March (tickets £8). Ring 01668 282406
Director and designer William Alderson said there had been a constant
demand for its revival, and last year Lynx launched its first national tour of this updated production, but with the same actress returning to the role. The author said: “We have found that ‘Sylvia’ is as relevant today as when it was when it was first written – possibly even more so, and performances are frequently selling out. In Salford the tickets went in just four days and over a month before we were to perform!”
Mr Alderson’s production uniquely uses a sequence of slides of Sylvia
Pankhurst’s life and art as a background to the play’s action, among them her paintings of the bondagers of the Border country. “I use 250 slides of images from collections of archive photos of people and places in her life, and specially commissioned photos of Manchester and Venice, where she studied mosaics at San Marco. It is also a rare opportunity to see almost all her paintings, now held in private collections, including that of her granddaughter, Helen Pankhurst,” said the director. Local writer, Dinah Iredale, who has written about the bondagers, will be joining the company for the audience discussion after both performances. She saw the play in Blyth last year and said “I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the combination of the images and acting was perfect.”
Ms Mulhallen, who studied theatre in Finland for a year and visited Poland twice to look at its its progressive theatre scene, also draws on experience as a student and performer in fringe and community theatre in London and Sydney. ‘Rebels and Friends’, another play by her, was toured round England and Ireland by Lynx, and that too may be revived this year. Mr Alderson, who also directed that play, studied drama at Bristol University, and worked for 25 years in BBC Television News as a film, video and computer editor.
The performances have been supported by the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre, the Scottish Borders Council, Unison and the RMT.