In a time when the theatre culture is shifting its expectations of women in plays, Sheer Height Theatre has taken a stand on advocating for realistic female depiction on stage. Women Redressed is a two-part programme across four nights for emerging writers to share their work. In hopes to redress the balance of the portrayal of women on stage, Sheer Height Theatre presents work that brings women to the centre stage.
Women Redressed: Act 1 is a series of eight short plays that tackles a variety of issues, such as mental health, refugee crisis and the pressures of aging. The works are solo scenes, two-person plays, and short stories. This is a night that gives audiences a taste of a diverse range of dramatic stories.
With strong performances and grounded characters: “There’s No Place,” “The Silent Sentence,” “Small Victories” and “Nami Nami” all had well-developed scripts and challenging story concepts. Having seen Serin Ibrahim’s performance of Nami Nami by Sian Rowland in Gazing At A Distant Star a month ago, she has further developed this character emotionally. Ibrahim was grounded and connected to her character, which was lovely to watch. Another standout piece was “Small Victories” by Ellen Carnazza with its thoughtful insight on the struggle of mental health issues.
Often times, the challenge of writing is finding a balance of drama and humour in a script. The short plays: “Dog Day,” “May The Bridges You Burn Light Your Way,” “Sunrise” and “Hillside” all had a slight bit of comedic relief that added a lightness to intense moments of the plays. In “May The Bridges You Burn Light Your Way,” Rosalind McAndrew’s movement on stage was unrealistic with her limp. It would have been nice to see her more grounded on stage owning that comedic character.
Also, Holly Joyce as Belinda in “Sunrise” seemed to have not fully realised the genuineness in her character at this point. Her level of energy compared to Clive Moore as Dawn, was very cool, calm and not fully embodying the character.
Women Redressed: Act I explores realistic portrayals of female characters on stage and tackles emerging societal issues. By offering women the opportunity to explore more creatively on and off stage, Sheer Height Theatre’s Women Redressed empowers new playwrights to embrace their artistic voices.
Review by Alyssa Chromy
Sheer Height Theatre presents
The Performance of Gender
“They can’t write us out of history. It’s impossible. We exist”
Showcasing new writing from the UK’s up and coming playwrights, as well as excerpts from established plays, Women Redressed presents theatre that plants female characters centre stage and probes our perceptions and expectations of gender.
This will be the third installment of the festival after sell-out successes at Arcola Theatre in March 2016 and the Arts Theatre in November 2015.
Women Redressed: Act 1
12 – 13 March 2017
London N4 3JP
Running Time: 2 hours with a 15-minute interval