Suffrage play arrives in Plymouth city centre

As they continue their journey in celebration of the centenary of The Great Suffrage Pilgrimage, Dreadnought South West Association will be performing free Episodes from a new play in Plymouth city centre’s Piazza at 4pm on Thursday 27 June 2013. The play, Oxygen, looks at how women’s rights have changed in the last 100 years, how protest has changed and seeks to examine if there has been any realistic shift in power to ensure that women’s voices are heard in society.

Joining the cast in the Piazza will be representatives from the Plymouth Soroptimists, an organisation who are interested in bettering the lives of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally.

Sylvia Bedbrook, publicity officer for the Plymouth Soroptimists, says: “Dr Mabel Ramsey, one of the founder members of the Plymouth Soroptimists, was an indefatigable fighter for all issues concerning women and she held particularly strong views about women’s right to have the vote. She was the secretary of the Plymouth Suffrage Movement in 1909 and again in 1913.”

Sylvia continues: “Today’s Soroptimists are carrying on the work of the suffragettes in the form of lobbying Parliament on women’s issues as well as helping women and girls locally and internationally in many different ways. It will be a pleasure to greet Dreadnought South West to the city, as they continue their celebration of the courage and commitment of those women 100 years ago.”

Following the performances in the Piazza, the cast of Oxygen will then process to the Barbican Theatre, where they will take part in Oxygen-Nation, a unique event in which 100 young people aged between 16-25 years will ask Plymouth city’s leaders questions about the Great Suffrage Pilgrimage and the very real social issues in Plymouth today. On Friday 28th and Saturday 29th June, Oxygen will be performed in full at the Theatre Royal’s pop-up theatre space, TR2 at Neptune Park. For tickets, visit www.theatreroyal.com/oxygen. For more information see www.dreadnoughtsouthwest.org.uk.

Oxygen is the first production from Dreadnought South West Association, a new organisation that works with arts and heritage to champion women’s voices and stories. As the play tours from Land’s End to London, retracing the steps and thoughts of 100 years ago, it will be accompanied by a series of responding events, discussions and land journeys that celebrate the courage of those who participated in the pilgrimage, and questions how women’s lives have changed since 1913.