Find Me at International Women’s Day 2014 Event in Leamington Spa

Watch out for me at the International Women’s Day event at the Sydni Centre, Leamington Spa on Saturday 8 March 2014 from 1-6pm.  This is a FREE women-only event.

International Womens Day 2014
International Womens Day 2014

I’ll be showcasing my best blog posts, selling copies of Mystical Circles at the special reduced price of £5, & showing the official trailer.

There will be lots of arts and crafts for you to look at, and buy if you wish. Or you can simply browse, admire the creativity and imagination that you see around you, and chat to the creators.

Lovely meals will be served for lunch and there are also several excellent workshops, involving a mixture of creative activities, and the opportunity to join in discussion groups centred upon issues relevant to women.

In addition there will be several singing highlights: the opportunity to learn a song live from Rwanda via Skype, a performance from the “Low Wimmin”, and a singing workshop from the former co-leader of Leamington Spa’s fabulous community choir Songlines, Rebecca Knight.

I hope to see you there at the International Women’s Day, 8 March, at the SYDNI Centre, Leamington Spa, CV31 1PT

Shakespeare’s Wronged Women: A Reflection In The Light Of International Women’s Day

The other day I went to a see a production given by  Playbox Theatre, held at their local headquarters,  Dream Factory, Warwick.

Alice Woodhouse in Shakespeare's Wronged Women (copyright Kenilworth Weekly News)
Alice Woodhouse in Shakespeare’s Wronged Women (copyright Kenilworth Weekly News)

There we saw members of the Shakespeare Young Company present to us “Shakespeare’s Wronged Women”.

In the words of Stewart McGill & Mary King, the Artistic Directors of this company,  “Having explored with SYC the torments of The Winter’s Tale, in parallel we were discovering the wronged natured of many of Shakespeare’s heroines. It seemed a catalogue was emerging whereby the women in the plays were victims of male power, greed, status and political actions, not to mention infidelity and sexual domination. From Juliet and Hermia across the canon to Queen Katherine in Henry VIII these women demanded to be heard.”

After listening and watching the young people acting the roles of these wronged women, (among whom I may single out Alice Woodhouse as Hermione in A Winter’s Tale, and Mairi Ella Challen as Rosalind in As You Like It for their superb acting) I reflected: What do they all have in common? All these wronged women, as Shakespeare portrays them?

It’s this – they all inherently know their own self-worth.

They all know they deserve better.

Shakespeare gives them a voice. They express themselves powerfully, eloquently, passionately.

They won’t necessarily succeed, in worldly terms, because they are up against the brutish force of power politics and superior physical strength and sexual violence.

But their voices ring out.

The young actors, (I later speculated) perhaps thought this:

This will never happen to me.

I will never get myself into this situation.

I would never let anyone treat me like this.

I would never make this mistake.

But in years to come, maybe they will remember those impassioned words – from Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, from Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, from Juliet, or from Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

International Women’s Day was necessary because there are many women in this world who also have the same value and worth, but are not able to express themselves powerfully, eloquently, passionately.

And may they, and all the oppressed women for whom International Women’s Day was first created, know their own worth and live it out and fully possess it.