Bonkers in a Bunker

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It’s going to happen. Come with me down the stairs.

A site specific promenade theatre production about captivity in the cellar of the King’s Arms, Salford. Inspired by the stories of Brian Keenan, Terri Waite, Patti Hearst and the survivors of Ariel Castro and Joseph Fritzl and the books, The Collector, the Lovely Bones, Room and Plato’s Cave. It’s on in October 2014.<!

6 things that happen when you write about feminism

True true true.


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1. You will be accused of hating men

At first this will sound ridiculous. Then you’ll feel irritated. Then you might feel riled and want to say: “YES I HATE MEN AND THEY MUST ALL BECOME SOYLENT GREEN.”

But the truth is, I don’t hate men. I just think I am awesome – too awesome for my life to be decided along the lines of what someone else thinks is appropriate to my gender. Too awesome to go around cringing over the fact that I am woman-shaped and have woman interests and woman-y inside-bits.

The people who accuse feminism of hating men have a very fragile, narrow idea of being a man – they’re something like a fluorescent tube. They are worried that any change will shatter them. Feel sorry for them, but not too sorry: like the rest of us, they will probably be OK.

2. You will get…

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Mother F and PMF at the Edinburgh Festival

Oh God, I’ve got PMF.  Post Modern Feminism.  On the Brain.  Being away from the family for the Edinburgh festival performing in Mother F, a comedy about mothers is post (or is it post post post modern? – how many posts?) modern feminist irony. Doing a show about motherhood, having a mother, being a mother when I am NOT performing my duties as a real life mother.  This thought has been jostling around argumentatively in my head since I landed in Edinburgh.  Can one be a feminist AND be a mother?  If feminism means women working out of the home and making their own decisions and working equally side by side with men then I am a post modern feminist.  Does it make me less of a mother?  Will my two female children suffer because of my PMF?

I love feminism, I just don’t feel like I am a good one.  I endeavour to be a better PMF.  Looking around at the other shows at the Edinburgh festival there are plenty of shows that are women lead and women producers and more women at the helm commissioning work.  It’s refreshing, positive.  And there are still shows that pander depressingly to titillate men with bikini and tongue flashing leaflets to shows all about dealing with the disempowerment of women and S&M or female stand ups talking dirty for the benefit of men.  I am surprised by this as a PMF in 2013.  Do women still feel that they have to wear a bikini to get people in to see their show like women did in the 1970’s to sell cars?  I’m no prude but this rubs my sexual politics up the wrong way.

On the positive side, there are brilliant shows like Croft and Pearce, a slick sketch show that should be on the telly now and if they don’t get picked up I shall eat my copy of vintage Spare Rib.  There’s the all female Titus Andronicus, Stephanie Preissner’s ‘Solpadeine is my boyfriend,’ and the very funny ‘Women of an Uncertain Age,’ Bridget Christie,  Viv Groskop, Katie Goodman. Just to name a handful off the top of my head.  And while I am here on the uncertain age debate that goes on for every actress over the age of thirty we must abandon the classical canon.  We PMF’s must keep writing parts for women of all ages.  Let’s make PMF visible and vocal.  Come on the Women! Mum with her four b Mum with her four big girls. How did one family manage to put so many patterned dresses together? Mum with her four b Mum with her four big girls. How did one family manage to put so many patterned dresses together? Mum with her four b Mum with her four big girls. How did one family manage to put so many patterned dresses together? Just had a splendid Just had a splendid week with Gaulier and people who were “not extremely boring”

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

Hallo all
It’s official. Mother F is going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. Let me know if you are going too.

Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester Production Shots by Lesley Chalmers

Last week we had three performances at the Manchester Royal Exchange Studio that were sold out.  It was a great pleasure playing to a home crowd and Isabel Ford and myself enjoyed ourselves as much as our audience.  Here are some of the fantastic photos by Lesley Chalmers.

Mama, doesn't even have an inkling, that I left them all in Antwerp and I'm touring on my own."

We are the Babies! We are the Babies! The stand -up babies from ‘Mother F’

Bing bong! Avon Calling!




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