Interview with Shit Theatre: Women's Hour (no relation to the R4 one)

Kate Saffin in conversation with Shit Theatre's Becca and Louise, who are currently touring Women's Hour a feminist show that explores gender inequality with song, roller skates and kinder eggs....

By way of a start – give me a bit of an overview of what the audience who come will get:
Crumpet in the face

Tell me a bit about the origins of the show, what started you on the journey?
It began as a ten minute piece for Calm Down, Dear! Festival of Feminism 2013, and was then commissioned by Camden People's Theatre to headline the 2014 festival.

And how you set about developing it…
We came back from Edinburgh Fringe 2014 and had 2 weeks to write and rehearse it. We listened to BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour (no relation) NO RELATION. Legally we're fine. We drank tea.

Who is involved in writing, directing, performing? How do you work together.
We are. We research together, we write together, we make each other laugh. We live together.

Were there any really pivotal moments in rehearsal – Ah ha! moments when you saw something new?
We do a lot of pivoting during a roller blading section, so that helped get a different perspective on the room.

Or when you realised that sketch just had to be binned…
We just wrote a joke about pivoting on roller blades. Not sure that's a keeper.

How has it changed since first performing it?
It's gone from 10 minutes of women to a whole hour of women - so that's 75% more women. Or if you think about it differently: it's now a whole woman, it used to be a quarter of a woman (for example, her right leg).
Also, we had a great bit about the tampon tax which George Osborne is trying to ruin, typical Tories, so that's had to adapt.

You describe it as ‘very funny yet makes some very serious points about the way the media treats women in 2016 - feminist theatre for all genders’. Could you expand on that a bit. What are the issues in how the media treats women, do you have some examples of the kind of things that you draw on in the show.
We don't want to give any spoilers here but let's say that the media's representation of women isn't great. Women and girls are sexualised. Unnecessary gendering polarises us all into binaries that don't exist and are unrealistic, restrictive and ridiculous.

Who should I bring with me to see the show, and why?
We've had audience members from 12-80+. The show contains very strong language and adult content but we have had parents asking us online if they could please bring their 'budding feminist' children - the dynamic of the room changes when there is a child in the audience which we find very interesting, as the things we bombard the audience with are things they see and experience every day, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. We also tend to have a good mix of all genders coming to see the show which we think is important.

(c) Kate Saffin 2016

Read the Female Arts review of Women's Hour:

Women’s Hour – upcoming dates
20, 21 May 9pm
London Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY
£12, £10 (concs) 020 7419 4841

26 May 8pm
Harlow Playhouse Playhouse Square Harlow Essex CM20 1LS
£pay what you can 01279 431945

31 May 8pm
Ipswich, New Wolsey Sudio Pulse Festival St Georges Street, Ipswich IP1
£8.50, £5 what you can 01473 295900

8, 9 September 8pm
Belfast MAC, 10 Exchange Street West, Belfast BT1 2NJ
£tbc 028 9023 5053

29, 30 Sept 1 October 7.30pm
Manchester Home, Tony Wilson Place, 2 First St, Manchester M15 4FN
£tbc 0161 200 2015

5, 6, 7 October 7.45pm
Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Gibbett Hill Rd Coventry CV4 7AL
£tbc 024 7652 4524

Author's review: