Bechdel Theatre Podcast

Welcome to the first ever Bechdel Theatre Podcast! Originally created as a Twitter campaign in 2015 by Beth Watson and now a 50-minute women-in-theatre audible feast! Bechdel Theatre is directly inspired by the famous Bechdel Test which looks at gender representation in film - only now british theatre is under the microscope.
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Nov 13, 2017
The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein also known as ‘The Famous,’ is a New York-raised, London-based feminist performance maker who holds a PhD on 'The Agency of the Displayed Female Body: The Political Potential of Negative Affects in Contemporary Feminism and Performance'
Lauren's #FeministFaves are Sara Ahmed's book 'The Promise of Happiness, Lauren BerlantNao BustamanteAnn Liv YoungJulia BardsleyKira O'ReillyLois Weaver and Split Britches.
Michelle Barwood is an actor, writer, shit feminist, bad vegan, witch. Michelle watched Queens of Shebaproduced by Nouveau Riche at Camden People's Theatre, and In Event of Moone Disaster at Theatre503.
Michelle's #FeministFave is Eve Ensler's One Billion Rising project.
More recommendations...
Lyric Hammersmith in Feb. 

The Bunker Nov 13 - 19.
Soho Theatre Nov 21 - 24th 
TARA Theatre Nov 21 - 25
and touring until May.
Soho Theatre 4 - 9 December
Royal Court Wed 15 Nov - Sat 23 Dec
Oct 31, 2017
Tutku Barbaros is an actor, writer, and member of Plunge Theatre. Tutku's review of Angel at The Arcola was published in The Tung and Sister-hood
Tutku's #FeministFaves are Mona EltahawyDeeya KhanLeyla Hussain (Three #FeministFaves who also featured in Epsiode 3!), the essay collection Nasty Women, and the sitcom My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Other recommendations...
Soho Theatre Nov 4
Young Vic til Nov 4
Portrait by Racheal Ofori

UK Tour Nov 1 - 12

Trafalgar Studios until Nov 18
Notorious created and performed by The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein

UK tour Oct 20 - Nov 23

White by Koko Brown
Ovalhouse Nov 15 - 25
The Old Red Lion Nov 7 - 26
Muvvahood by Libby Liburd
London Tour 3 Nov to 1 Dec
Contractions produced by Deafinitely Theatre
New Diorama
Nov 1 - 29
Sep 16, 2017
Lucy J Skilbeck (aka Leo) is one of the founders of award-winning theatre company Milk Presents, and writer and director of BULLISH: a new mythical play with songs, negotiating ancient and new territories in trans-masculine gender and identity. BULLISH is headlining Camden People's Theatre's Come As You Are festival of performance that interrogates and celebrates gender from cis to trans, from binary to beyond.
Lucy Parkinson is one of the four performers in BULLISH and stars in JOAN, also written by Skilbeck, which won critical acclaim (and a Bechdel Theatre sticker) at Edinburgh Fringe last year, and has been touring for the past year.
Leo's #FeministFave is performance artist David Hoyle, whose legendary anti-drag persona The Divine David became an alternative LGBTQ cult icon in the 90s, and who continues to make performances and films which address class and social issues, mainstream gay culture, and his own mental health.
Lucy Parkinson's #FeministFave is their Mum, who's not on Wikipedia or social media (as far as we know), but apparently goes to see all their shows, so if you want to maximise chances of crossing paths with said Mother, we recommend you book to see Parkinson in JOAN on tour, or performing as Drag King LoUis CYfer, as well as catching BULLISH at CPT.
Amie Taylor is the founder of LGBTQ Arts, a review website which has recently launched Raising Our Voices, an initiative to support and showcase up-and-coming LBT+ writers. Read her article on Huffington Post about why LGBTQ+ representation can't mean just cis gay men.
Amie's #FeministFave is actor and comedian Jessica Williams, who is the star of Netflix original romantic comedy film The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica is also one half of the brilliant 2 Dope Queens podcast.
Bullish is at Camden People's Theatre until Sat 30 Sept
Raising Our Voices is at Camden People's Theatre on the 20th & 27th Sept 
(You can buy tickets to see both of these in one night with CPT's 2 shows for £16 deal!)
Also recommended:
Half-Breed at Soho Theatre until Sept 30th.
Boudica at The Globe on until Oct 1st.
Turkey at The Hope Theatre 26th Sept - 14th Oct
Aug 24, 2017
For more Fringe tips, our blog has a long list of Edinburgh shows we recommend seeing, and a shorter but more detailed list of our Fringe #FeministFaves.
If you're not in Edinburgh, never fear! The majority of the shows that do well at the Fringe will tour across the country, so make sure you get them on your radar ahead of their inevitable future success.
Tanya Loretta Dee is starring in Offside by Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish @ Pleasance Courtyard 15:40
Tanya's #FeministFave is The Color Purple, originally a book by Alice Walker, adapted into a film in 1985 starring Whoopi Goldberg, and a Broadway musical, which is touring the US later this year.
Comedy duo 'Britney', aka Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson, are starring in Britney in: John @ Bedlam Theatre 18:30
We talked about Britney's previous show on Episode 2: Live from Vault Festival.
Rebecca Humphries is the writer of Prom Kween @ Underbelly Cowgate 20:35
Rebecca's #FeministFave is Julia Davis: comedian, actress, writer, director and producer, most famously creator and star of the comedy series Nighty Night.
This episode was recorded far from home (and our usual recording equipment) so please forgive the variable sound quality.
Thanks to Funny Women, The Gilded Balloon and Apex Hotel for our locations.
Jun 12, 2017

Interview with Yolanda Mercy and Jade Lewis: writer/performer and director of 'Quarter Life Crisis', plus our recommendations for Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Fringe, and shows opening in London and touring this summer.

Yolanda Mercy is a London based Actor and Playwright. She trained at the renowned Brit school, Laban and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Yolanda is a winner of the Rich Mix Small Story Big City Award and Associate Artist at OvalHouse Theatre. 

Jade Lewis is a director who has worked at Southwark Playhouse, The Bush Theatre and The Royal Court (where she assisted debbie tucker green). Jade is a Creative Associate at The Gate Theatre and Emerging Artist at Ovalhouse Theatre, and also runs workshops in schools and youth groups.

Yolanda’s #FeministFaves: The Secret book by Rhonda Byrne, Lilly Singh Youtuber.

Jade’s #FeministFaves: Nina Simone and Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce

We also talked about...

The Scar Test by Hannah Khalil - The Place Theatre, Bedford June 21st, The Bohemian Balcony Swindon June 26-27th, and Soho Theatre July 5-22nd. 

Anatomy of a Suicide at the Royal Court June 3 - July 8th Alice Birch and Katie Mitchell collaborate again after last year's production of Ophelia's Zimmer, with a play about 3 generations of women.

Rotterdam at The Arts Theatre June 21 - July 15th

The Globe’s Summer of Love, including Emma Rice’s Twelfth Night, until August 5th 

Herstory Feminist Theatre Festival at Balham N16, including Lekhani Chirwa peforming ‘Can I Touch Your Hair?’ June 18-19th

Bechdel Testing Life at The Bunker. Four short plays based on real conversations by Isley Lynn, Guleraana Mir, Rabiah Hussain and Lizzie Milton. July 22-23rd.

Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Fringe recommendations...

Quarter Life Crisis 14:40

Joan (August 21-27th) 19:20

Prom Kween 20:35

Apr 4, 2017
Episode 3 - #BringAFeministFriend special on representations of Muslim girls, with Firdos Ali and Shaneela Rowah Al-Qamar talking about Homegrown and Hounslow Girl.
Firdos Ali is a playwright, currently writing a musical which will be previewed at Theatre Royal Stratford EastFirdos is co-curator of the Bunker Without Borders, and has 2 pieces of work being staged at the Bunker on April 4th and 8th.
Firdos' #FeministFaves were Deeya Khan of sister-hood.comEdna Adan who founded a hospital for women and children in Somaliland, and anti-FGM campaigner Layla Hussein.
Shaneela Rowah Al-Qamar is a business woman, founder of perfume company 
Shaneela's #FeministFave was Mona Eltahawy.
We watched
The Inconvenient Muslim - An Evening to Launch Homegrown at Conway Hall. 
Some of the publicity around the cancellation of the National Youth Theatre's production: The GuardianTelegraphChannel 4 and BBC.
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Featuring Nyla Levy, directed by Sophie Moniram.
We also watched a rehearsed reading of Coconut by Guleraana Mir, work in progress to look out for, which we'll be talking about more in the future.
Feb 11, 2017

This week join Beth and Pippa for their very special second episode from deep in the underground at Vault Festival!

Our special guests include Bella Heesom who talks about her autobiographical play My World Has Exploded A Little Bit, Lekhani Chirwa actor and host of the Creative Juice Podcast and Georgina Bobb, our #bringafeministfriend guest who is a TV production co-ordinator, managing director of TV Jobs UK and Bipolar activist.  

We question what can TV and Theatre can learn from each other? Is Dreamgirls ground-breaking or stuck in the past? And how far do we still have to go in representing minorities on stage?

PLUS in our final segment we invite our audience to share some of their feminists faves AND we recommend some upcoming plays that we think will pass the Bechdel Test! 

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Dec 17, 2016

Originally created as a Twitter campaign in 2015 by Beth Watson and now a 50-minute women-in-theatre audible feast! 


Bechdel Theatre is directly inspired by the famous Bechdel Test which looks at gender representation in film - only now british theatre is under the microscope. 


In this first episode Beth and her co-host Pippa discuss whether subverting gender on stage, as seen in Panto, can still pass the Bechdel Test requirements...


Also discussed is Emma Rice's departure from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, an interview with the Donmar Trilogy's Jade Anouka and introducing #BringAFeministFriend.


Plus expect chat on "Oil" at the Almeida Theatre AS WELL AS what to look forward to in 2017...




AND if you want to be in with the chance of winning Dame Harriet Walter's book Brutus and Other Heriones send in your Bechdel-passing conversations (about absolutely ANYTHING) to


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