Sunday theatre question: Favourite play or production with an all-female cast
This week's Sunday Theatre question is about girl-power on stage - what is your favourite play or production with an all-female cast? Theatre's gender balance still has a way to go, but it feels like it has improved in recent years. Do you think?
My choice for this makes a thing of having an all-female cast. Emilia, which I saw at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2019 (review here) is the story of Emilia Lanier, the first feminist poet and a possible inspiration for Shakespeare.
And while it is a story with feminism at its heart, having an all-female cast allowed plenty of humourous digs at the fact that women weren't allowed to perform on the stage in Shakespeare's time.
It was brilliantly done and was such a joyous production; I loved it. So what is your choice and why?
Looking for inspiration? Here are some other all-female cast productions that spring to mind:
Queens of Sheba, Battersea Art Centre - Saw this at the Edinburgh Fringe then again when it transferred the Battersea Arts Centre. It's one of those plays that doesn't shy away from looking at the difficult subjects - sexism and racism - but also feels like a celebration and a rally - a call to arms. I loved it very much.
The all-female Shakespeare's that the Donmar put on a few years ago also stick in my mind but for good and bad. There were moments when it felt like they were trying a bit too hard to be masculine in a 'if the boys can do it so can we' kinda way, but then there were elements such as Jade Anouka's performance as Hotspur which was the best I've seen to date.
Here are some more detailed thoughts:
And here's a piece with my thoughts on gender-swapping on stage vs the lack of female characters.