Sisters (and the rest of the world) unite and enjoy this one-woman show as you are taken through the tumultuous life of the Preston-born suffragette Edith Rigby.

A wonderful story of an exceptional woman portrayed by an actor who holds forth and keeps our attention throughout.

For the next hour you will be engaged in the story of a woman desperately fighting for her right to vote in a society that beats her down. However, it is not just Rigby’s story but the emotion behind it that Claire Moore portrays.

The lyrical, fast pace of the script whips the audience up into the conflict Moore portrays as she narrates her tale with passion and fervour. The intense depiction of the fury sparking inside Rigby when beaten down by the police is highly emotive and the image of a woman being ‘forged in flame’ fully embodies the fury of women repressed by society. The imagery of fire also suggests the burning woman image which is later fulfilled as Rigby’s fury drove her to arson.

Moore’s range is generally broad – although the character’s more painful moments feel a little pedestrian and vocally strained. Her expression and projection are clear and she fully embodies the role of Edith Rigby from her entrance to the final blackout. She is charming and endearing as the non-militant suffragist and formidable as she rises from her first prison force feeding.

While the subject matter is of great interest and the performance strong, the physical performance of the demonstrations as Rigby underwent violence is weak and the slow motion in one scene is not particularly effective. The monologues on militant method with the slogan ‘deeds not words’ feel quite preachy at times and break the lyrical style of the rest of the performance.

There may be a few strains and weak moments but this is a wonderful story of an exceptional woman portrayed by an actor who holds forth and keeps our attention throughout.

Reviews by Caitlin Powell

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

An explosive one-woman show, taking you into the fiery spirit and turbulent times of one of the most passionate and singularly dangerous women in Edwardian England – Mrs Edith Rigby. Present at the tempestuous birth of the suffragette movement, she became a major player in the violence of its unfolding. Mild-mannered doctor's wife, guerrilla fighter, vandal, arsonist and suffragette bomber, this outrageous woman remains an enigma to this day. Woman on Fire seeks to shed light on the mystery that is Edith Rigby.

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