OH WOMAN

A CELEBRATION OF STRENGTH, WISDOM ACTIVISM, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, AND THE INGENUITY OF WOMEN

  • 8 March 2021 - 31 March 2021
  • From our friends

To mark International Women’s Day the Royal Exchange Theatre has commissioned six Greater Manchester-based artists to make six new pieces of work under the heading OH WOMAN.

We are delighted to announce that Eliyana Evans, Nana-Kofi Kufuor, Gemma Langford, Channique Sterling-Brown, Rebecca Swarray and Becky Wilkie will develop original audio experiences inspired by the extraordinary women who mean something to them. Each artist will work closely with the brilliant illustrator Hannah McLennan-Jones to create an accessible visual world for their audio experience.

OH WOMAN is a celebration of remarkable lives and quiet triumphs, of famous faces and family members, and will be shared across the theatre’s website and social media channels from Monday 8 March.


A CONVERSATION WITH CHLOE by Rebecca Swarray is inspired by Manchester-based queer and powerhouse activist Chloe Cousins. In this audio experience, Rebecca creates the space for Chloe to tell her story in a way that is true to her and most importantly in a way that is as vibrant and joyful as she really is. Rebecca Swarray is curator, founder and resident DJ Mix-Stress of the Manchester-based arts and events collective, RebeccaNeverBecky.

Becky Wilkie creates IN HER OWN WORDS about artist Elizabeth Siddal. Elizabeth was a poet and a painter, but she is often talked about in relation to Dante Rossetti, her lover, or the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, many of whom she modeled for. This time she doesn’t have to be ethereal and vacant, she can be angry and ugly and tired. A muse for a modern woman, on her own terms. Becky Wilkie is a Manchester-based musician, composer, songwriter, and performer and one third of feminist theatre company RashDash.

Eliyana Evans celebrates the life of SOPHIE, an incomparable avant-garde pop music producer in her piece TRANSGRESSIVE. Her piece will honour SOPHIE's extraordinary creativity and other revolutionary trans musicians such as Wendy Carlos and Jackie Shane. Eliyana Evans is a Sound Designer, Composer and artist known as Eliyana. Please note: This piece is binaural so for the best experience, it needs to be listened to through headphones.

Writer Gemma Langford’s piece takes inspiration from her Nan, Ida, THE LAST CUNNING WOMAN OF TIMPERLEY. Sharing stories and memories this is a beautiful celebration of a woman who helped to heal in more ways than one. Gemma Langford’s work has appeared at theatres including Theatre503, The National Theatre Studio, Southwark Playhouse, 53Two and Hope Mill.

A LETTER TO A MOTHER AND A SISTER is created by Nana-Kofi Kufuor and was inspired by his mum Ama Kufuor and his sister Mammy Maguire. It is a thank you from the writer to the women in his life who shaped him and sacrificed for him. Nana-Kofi Kufuor is a playwright of Ghanaian origin from Stockport. He is currently working in a Sky writers’ room and has a play with Red Ladder.

Channique Sterling-Brown has been inspired by the incredible life of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse and businesswoman who travelled the world healing and offered to serve in the Crimean war. THE LADY WITH THE SPARK honours and recognises Britain’s forgotten heroes. Channique Sterling-Brown is an actor and creative, based in Manchester. She trained at UCLAN Acting.

 

TRIGGER WARNINGS: 

TRANSGRESSIVE Trigger Warning: This is a tribute to music producer SOPHIE who tragically died recently.

THE LADY WITH THE SPARK Trigger Warning: War, violence

 


Manchester illustrator Hannah McLennan-Jones is working closely with each theatre maker. She creates vibrant pieces of illustration using pen and ink drawings, which are then collaged together to create her final pieces. Her work follows a strict pink colour palette and is inspired by punk aesthetics, pop culture, neon lights & nostalgia. 

Sound Designer Annie May Fletcher will be working with Gemma, Channique and Nana-Kofi to develop their pieces. Annie is a sound designer and composer for live theatre and digital media based in the North, and she trained at LAMDA. She co-founded Broken Bird Studios, a Northern-based audio production company, is an Associate Artist with Snapper Theatre and was the NST Lab Associate in 2018/19. Her recent digital credits include What A Carve Up, Toast and The Understudy for The LBT, and A Passion Play for 45North.

Joint Artistic Directors Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan said…
Too often we only hear stories about the ‘fight’ to get the achievements of women recognised - in history, in the workplace, in society. With OH WOMAN we wanted to give artists from Greater Manchester the opportunity to celebrate, shout about, honour and pay tribute to women who have had an impact on them. We were overwhelmed by the applications we received, the energy and passion that came across was incredible, from pieces about pop stars, grandmothers, painters, actors and activists – the respect for their subjects was palpable. The artists creating the work we have commissioned identified some truly exceptional women, whose stories are uplifting, both personal and universal and uniquely different from each other. We hope this collection of audio experiences are as inspiring to you as they were to us, we cannot wait to share them with you.”

OH WOMAN pieces can be found here on the website and on the Theatre’s social media channels from 8 March (@rxtheatre on FacebookTwitter and Instagram)

  • Event Information
  • PLATFORM: Royal Exchange Theatre website (see below) and social media channels (@rxtheatre on FacebookTwitter and Instagram)

    DATES: From Monday 8 March until Wednesday 31 March 2021

    SCHEDULE:

    Monday 8 March from 6pm

    A CONVERSATION WITH CHLOE by Rebecca Swarray

    IN HER OWN WORDS by Becky Wilkie

     

    Wednesday 10 March from 6pm

    TRANSGRESSIVE by Eliyana Evans
    Please note: 
    This piece is binaural so for the best experience, it needs to be listened to through headphones.

    THE LAST CUNNING WOMAN OF TIMPERLEY by Gemma Langford 

                    

    Friday 12 March from 6pm

    A LETTER TO A MOTHER AND A SISTER by Nana-Kofi Kufuor

    THE LADY WITH THE SPARK by Channique Sterling-Brown

     

    TRIGGER WARNINGS: 

    TRANSGRESSIVE Trigger Warning: This is a tribute to music producer SOPHIE who tragically died recently.

    THE LADY WITH THE SPARK Trigger Warning: War, violence

  • Creative Team
  • ARTISTS: Channique Sterling-Brown, Eliyana Evans, Nana-Kofi Kufuor, Gemma Langford, Rebecca Swarray and Becky Wilkie

    ILLUSTRATOR: Hannah McLennan-Jones

    SOUND DESIGNER: Annie May Fletcher

    A CONVERSATION WITH CHLOE by Rebecca Swarray
    Featuring Rebecca Swarray & Chloe Cousins
    And excerpts from Jackie Kay, Judith Butler & Audre Lorde

    IN HER OWN WORDS by Becky Wilkie
    Featuring Becky's Daughter

    TRANSGRESSIVE by Eliyana Evans
    Performed by Eliyana Evans

    THE LAST CUNNING WOMAN OF TIMPERLEY by Gemma Langford
    Julie Hesmondhalgh as Ida
    Evie Wormald as Kid
    Katie West as Woman
    Sound Design & Composition by Annie May Fletcher

    A LETTER TO A MOTHER AND A SISTER by Nana-Kofi Kufuor
    Performed by Hammed Animashaun
    Sound Design & Composition by Annie May Fletcher

    THE LADY WITH THE SPARK by Channique Sterling-Brown
    Channique Sterling-Browns as herself
    Sandra Cole as Mary Seacole
    Sound Design & Composition by Annie May Fletcher

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