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National Theatre Blog

Courage Everywhere: A Guide

The Courage Everywhere marketing image - a cross in purple and green with faces or women protesters lightly seen underneath

In the Parlour

Mary Church Terrell

  • Summary

1 March 1913. Washington: On the eve of an historic Women’s Suffrage March two women, divided by race, battle for their right to be included and to fight in this movement.

  • Why this play is important?

A theatrical look at historic American activists Mary Church Terrell (pictured above) and Alice Paul and the real 1913 US march, In the Parlour shows how women had to overcome divisions even from within the suffrage movement. This dramatisation of history depicts a moment of dynamic change and shows the importance of real union in moments of injustice.

  • Who wrote it

Written by Judy Tate

  • Who’s directing it?

Dawn Walton, Founder and Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre

Book a ticket here


Magda, Jo, Isabella 

Dawn Walton

  • Summary

Three brilliant new monologues by US writers, which tackle race, class and belonging in relation to the Suffrage movement.

  • Why is this play important?

Each monologue describes the different reality of these women and through the eyes of Magda, Jo and Isabella, a new perspective on the relationship between women and their right to vote emerges.

  • Who wrote it?

Written by Saviana Stanescu, Aoise Stratford and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

  • Who’s directing it?

Dawn Walton (pictured), Founder and Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre

Book a ticket here


Bull in a China Shop

  • Summary

Spanning 40 years in the life of two lovers in a Massachusetts women’s college (Jeannette Marks and Mary Woolley, pictured above). The women’s lives and leadership are put to the test in the midst of revolution, fan-adoration and the price of joining the establishment.

  • Why this play is important

Based on real-life events, this play celebrates the roles of queer activists as key figures and influencers in the fight for political equality. Bull in a China Shop hails these women as a driving force for change at a time when they were overlooked.

  • Who wrote it

Written by Bryna Turner

  • Who’s directing it

Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady)

Book a ticket here


Her Naked Skin

Nadia Fall


Set in the period of violent struggle for suffrage in 1913, this play from 2008 depicts a love-affair between suffragettes from vastly different economic backgrounds. 

  •          Why this play is important

It puts the suffrage movement centre-stage and both celebrates the suffragettes’ political determination while questioning whether liberty came easier for those who already had the privileges of class and wealth.

  •          Who wrote it

Rebecca Lenkiewicz

  •          Who’s directing it

Nadia Fall, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East (pictured)

Book a ticket here


And Others

Jenny Sealey
Photo by Micha Theiner


And Others brings to life the voices of women who have been lost to history, who fought for suffrage but whose stories have been left untold, together with the voices of D/deaf and disabled women living today.

  •          Why this play is important?

The women whose stories will be shared are instrumental to history, but their voices have previously been unheard. And Others rectifies that, putting their contributions centre-stage.

  •          Who wrote it?

Researched by Dr Susan Croft. Writers/Dramaturgs: Chloe Todd Fordham and Stewart Pringle.

  •          Who’s directing it?

Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company (pictured)

Book a ticket here


Votes for Women

Elizabeth Robins

  •          Summary

First staged in 1907, this historic play dramatises the politics and protests of the UK Suffrage movement of the early 20th century.

  •          Why is this play important?

Not only does it depict the history of the Suffrage movement, the play is itself a piece of history. First staged at the Royal Court Theatre, it was the first 'suffrage play’, where the feminist ideas of the movement were translated to a wider audience via the theatre.

  •          Who wrote it?

Elizabeth Robins (pictured)

  •          Who’s directing it?

Lyndsey Turner (Chimerica)

Book a ticket here

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