A one woman show devised in response to the life and work of Mary Wollstonecraft – late eighteenth century British thinker, writer, pioneering feminist, radical and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
During the course of an hour, we see a woman - maybe Mary, maybe someone from today - hurl herself into the waters of the river Thames, and as she sinks, descend to a more fluid understanding of womanhood. Slowly sinking, she is haunted by vision of Mary, Eve, Ishtar and others. The looming presence of The Countess towers over her. Somewhere a servant flits in and out tidying things. She gradually removes all her petticoats, prepares to enter the seventh gate, the underworld, and meet herself.
The performance poetically grapples with the idea that a strong and inspirational woman, like Mary Wollstonecraft, exists in-between the iconic figure and the marginalized loner living on the edge of rationality and society. This is not a historically or biographically accurate account of Wollstonecraft, but a powerful performance that, combining physical intensity and elegance, a cyberpunk aesthetic, humour and tragedy, quirky character work and sweeping cinematic romanticism, embodies the lives of multiple women – real, surreal, mythical, historical and imaginary – and focuses on a universal idea of a vindication of the right to be a woman.
Seven Petticoats is devised and performed by Judita Vivas, created in a dramaturgical collaboration with Rosemary Klich and John Britton, and directed by John Britton. Light design by Faith Austin. Underwater music score by Nickolai D. Nickolov.
8pm, Kingsway Campus, Chester, UK
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