Sisterhood

Set in cell for suspected witches in Medieval Britain, three women question what it means to stand in solidarity with women through exploring the vastness of obstacles hindering both male and female experience. Each woman having been victimised by patriarchal society in different ways, we learn the intimate details of their most personal experiences as a woman and how this is reflected in modern society. Sisterhood will evoke emotions of deep sadness as well as making you chuckle contently. The actors are all brilliantly convincing, each bringing a different perspective of what it means to be a woman in a patriarchal society – be it in the 15th Century or in 2018.

This is a progressive piece of work aimed at provoking change for the benefit of all people.

The three women, Marjorie (Jules Craig), Alice (Jolie Booth) and Kitty (Coco Maertens), weave in and out of Medieval time and modern day seamlessly. Using lighting and a ball of wool to signify when they are stepping into modern day society, the women can share problems relatable to a modern audience. The ball of wool is thrown out into the audience for an individual to catch. Personal stories of loss, pain and the tragic consequences of stereotypes are shared in a very intimate and powerful way. I think there should be some warning that rape and particularly abortion is tackled in some depth and may be distressing for some audience members. Certainly, the motif of traumatic situations needs a stronger link to how these issues impact society and women on a larger scale to really reiterate the value of community and the fact attitudes towards them must be challenged and changed. There is something unsettling about the third woman not having a ball of wool to throw out to the audience since this means she does not develop her character through modern issues.

However, this is only a scratch performance and so the production is still a work in progress. Despite only having had a couple weeks to learn lines and put the performance together, all three actors were absolutely fantastic at portraying and discussing the tough topics. Most importantly, the real consequences of gender stereotypes were exposed and tackled carefully yet powerfully. The impact on both women and men are explored, suggesting how these boundaries can shape character and be detrimental to quality of life.

Sisterhood is not just a performance exploring feminism as a way of bringing together community and encouraging solidarity, but also a tool to shape society’s attitudes towards women. This is a progressive piece of work aimed at provoking change for the benefit of all people. There are elements of this production I felt could have been stronger but on the whole it was powerfully intense and will undeniably encourage you to think deeper about how the structures of society affect every one of us.

Reviews by Ellie Thompson

Marlborough Theatre

Sisterhood

★★★
The Caxton Arms

Wratten & Robson: Juxtaposition

★★★
Rialto Theatre

Face to Face

★★★★
The Warren: The Hat

Mortified

★★★★★
The Warren: The Burrow

Think Outside The Box

★★
Sweet Werks 2

Are Strings Attached?

★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Scratch performance: Three women, aged 20, 40 and 60 (but not a virgin, mother or hag in sight), set about unpicking the fine weave of our existence, re-examining with fresh and furious eyes the threads of gender, fertility, sexual assault, our collective future and the state of feminism today. What taboos need eating? Which sacred cows should we slaughter? What will help us thrive? But most importantly of all - how are we going to sort this bloody mess out? As the analogue world disappears into the mists of time... 'Sisterhood' is a fearless adventure into the dark heart of this paradigm shift.

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