It was apparently once said that it was a great mistake in allowing women to talk, and it is a fact that women in the UK were not allowed to vote until 1918. The right to vote came about after a lengthy and determined campaign led by the suffragettes who lobbied and held protests to get their message across to politicians. This movement elevated women’s status in society to another level, and it is that movement along with the manifestations which surrounded it which have been cleverly crafted in Theresa Heskins’ adaptation of Elizabeth Robins’ Votes For Women at the New Vic Theatre.

As the audience are introduced to Lord and Lady John Wynnstay’s home the differential rights for men and women are explored and presented with ease. The persuasive Miss Vida Levering, played by Polly Lister, is superb as she spreads the word of the suffragettes and their beliefs upon others – especially the impressionable Jean Dunbarton.

Polly Lister
Polly Lister (on the platform) as Miss Vida. Pic by Mark Douet

As tensions grow the audience is transfixed when the suffragettes gather at Trafalgar Square where the brilliant pair – Annie Kenney (Danielle Henry) and Miss Christabel Pankhurst (Hannah Edwards) take you back to the 20th Century in exquisite fashion when they take to the platform to air their voices. Women gather and men disappear, the female voices are getting stronger and Parliament has no choice but to listen.

Lowri Izzard’s first appearance at the New Vic as Jean Dunbarton is fantastic, the suffragettes are powerful, and Kieran Hill plays The Hon. Geoffrey Stoner brilliantly.

Lowri Izzard as Jean Dunbarton and Kieran Hill as The Hon Geoffrey Stoner. Pic Andrew Billington

All in all, a strong message is delivered brilliantly by a stellar cast at this delightful theatre in the round.

It was also apparently once said that women get a great deal from coaxing – and it’s also fair to say that no man or woman should need any coaxing to go and see Votes For Women at the New Vic.

For more shows at the New Vic also see Baba’s What’s ON

Votes For Women finished on March 24 2018.



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