I reviewed Whoop ‘n’ Wail’s inaugural ‘Represents…’ showcase back in November 2014, in which the variety of works all had to pass the Bechdel Test. The series of showcases has continued, and for this new Mayday production, the rules are the same: each short play must include at least two named female characters who, at some stage, talk to each other about something other than a man.
Founders Ali Kemp and Deborah Klayman will once again include one of their own works in the show, as their piece of new writing Madjesty will round off the evening. Other writers in the showcase include Lizzie Bourne, who starred in Three Women in a Music Box in the launch of ‘Represents…’ in November, and Sarah Davies, whose short work Dust was for me a highlight of the first showcase. While the Bechdel Test is associated with feminist theatre, Kemp and Klayman highlight the importance of both genders in equality in theatre, with both male and female writers, who are paired with directors (again, a mix of genders) to première their works on a UK stage.
This showcase has also attracted a stellar cast member in Sharon Maughan, star of TV’s Holby Cit and Waking the Dead as well as a host of impressive stage production including Nora in A Doll’s House and Franco Zeffirelli’s Filumena in the West End. Speaking to the Huffington Post this month, Maughan said she was attracted to the job because “it’s admirable that the producers have taken this on… I will support anybody who has a voice and wants to express themselves in a true and honest way.”
Unfortunately I won’t be able make it to this Mayday showcase (paradoxically taking place on 27-28 April!) but I would recommend heading under the arches to the Waterloo East Theatre this week – for just £10 you will be rewarded with an interesting evening of theatre that aims to achieve something that is sadly rare across theatre, TV and film. The structure of six 15-minute shorts also makes this a hugely accessible evening for first-time theatregoers and keeps the energy up as the pace and atmosphere changes rapidly from piece to piece.
Whoop ‘n’ Wail Represents… Mayday will play at the Waterloo East Theatre from 27-28 April. Click here to book tickets.