Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

In Bechdel Testing LifeBechdel Theatre presents four short plays by Isley Lynn, Rabiah Hussain, Guleraana Mir, and Lizzie Milton. Each play is inspired by a real-life conversation between women.
The Experiment:
Inspired by the famous Bechdel Test, which asks: “Are there two female characters? Do they talk to each other? About something other than a man?”, women were asked to record their own conversations with each other – to pass the Bechdel Test in real life.
Their recordings were then given to a team of fantastic female playwrights.
The Result:
Four new plays exploring the relationships that make up our daily lives but are less often represented in fiction.
Bechdel Testing Life is a celebration of the complex, intimate, hilarious, and genius conversations that take place when women get together. It plays at the Bunker Theatre on 22nd and 23rd July.

(c) Hugo Glendinning
The National Theatre has today announced that Lizzy Watts will take the title role of Hedda Gabler which, following a sold-out run at the National Theatre earlier this year, begins a UK tour on 2 October. Beginning at Theatre Royal Plymouth, the tour will journey across the UK to Edinburgh, Leicester, Salford, Norwich, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Woking, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York and Milton Keynes.
Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free…
Lizzy Watts’ theatre credits include Strife at Chichester Festival Theatre, The Angry Brigade and Artefacts at The Bush, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe, Blink for Nabokov and Wasted for Paines Plough. TV includes The Durrells and Midsomer Murders and plays Ivy Layton in BBC Radio 4’s Home Front.


(c) Helen Maybanks
The Donmar Warehouse has announced Becoming: Part One, a series of workshop performances written and performed by Rosalie Craig and Michelle Terry. This unique project represents the first time a public performance has taken place in the Donmar’s rehearsal space on Dryden Street from Tuesday 27 June to Saturday 1 July. 
We were all born.
‘And immediately like, immediately that was the time I thought “And I’m a Mum.”’
Writers and performers Rosalie Craig and Michelle Terry share their very personal experiences of giving birth six months ago, remembering now because they are already starting to forget.
Since they becoming mothers at the end of 2016, Michelle and Rosalie have been working with the Donmar to explore how the theatre might work in new and different ways to allow them to be both artists and new mothers. The pair wanted to reflect on this turbulent time of change, so the Donmar co-commissioned them to research and write about this first ‘golden year’ – a phrase used in child development studies to refer to the first twelve months of a child’s life.
Join them for a limited run of very relaxed, workshop performances at the Donmar’s rehearsal space on Dryden Street. While the show is aimed at adults, babes in arms are also welcome. You are invited to stay on after the performance to continue the conversation.
The Donmar has been a consortium member of Parents in the Performing Arts (PIPA) since 2016. As a partner of PIPA’s Best Practice Research project, we are trialling news ways of working to inform industry practice on working with parents and children. We will share the learning from the process of creating Becoming: Part One with PIPA.
A podcast of Becoming: Part One will be released later this year.  

And the Bush Theatre has announced that this summer it will be hosting a run of The B*easts, written and performed by the pride of Middlesbrough herself Monica Dolan (W1A, Appropriate Adult, The Witness For The Prosecution). Three previews of the production will take place in Theatre’s recently refurbished Attic on 26 – 28 July, before opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Tickets for the Bush Theatre run are now on sale. 
Referencing the modern obsession with putting your own child first against our responsibility as a society towards our children as a whole, this dark tale – written by and starring BAFTA award-winning actress Monica Dolan – explores how far one mum will go to put what her child wants first. 
Dolan’s first solo play, a searing ‘What If?’ story, explores the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children. In a society where sexuality and gender are such a huge part of who we are, how we identify, and how we are defined, 
The B*easts looks at how soon is too soon to strive for perceived sexual ideals. Can the journey to reach that supposed perfection start before we are even consciously aware of the journey we have begun? The B*easts follows the repercussions of an event which could plausibly present itself and unfold within today’s culture. It invites us to examine our culture from an extreme perspective, taking a circumstance that we see as abhorrent and abnormal and showing how it can germinate in what we have come to regard as normality. As Tessa, the central character says, ‘you only have the choices you can see’. So when, and how, do you start noticing that your moral compass may be being directed by popular culture?


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