Today, The Old Vic announces two new commissions for International Women’s Day to be screened as part of the Your Old Vic programme. These One Voice monologues are written by Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Regina Taylor and will be broadcast on YouTube from Mon 08 Mar, 10am. Pritchard-McLean will direct Putting A Face On which will be performed by Susan Wokoma, and Tinuke Craig will direct Taylor’s Aisha (the black album) which will be performed by Jade Anouka.
Putting A Face On is a funny, dark and ultimately empowering monologue about gaslighting* and how, despite positive strides towards gender equality, domestic abuse remains prevalent within so many women’s daily lives. As the Domestic Abuse Bill returns to the House of Lords for a second reading, as part of the ongoing campaign to offer further rights and protection to survivors through greater access to the safety and support they need, this new monologue offers insight into the nuances of emotional abuse, victim blaming and control.
Following the United States’ centenary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 2020, which gave the first women the right to vote in America, and Kamala Harris' historic inauguration, Aisha (the black album) traces the history of Black women's political power, from disenfranchisement to mobilisation against the backdrop of the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2020 US election.
Of the commissions:
Kiri Pritchard-McLean, said ‘I am utterly honoured to work with The Old Vic and equally thrilled to write something for one of the best talents we have, Susan Wokoma. It's heartening to see that The Old Vic are striving to make new work in such difficult circumstances and the support from the theatre has allowed me to articulate my thoughts and fears about this bizarre period into this monologue. Don't worry, there is jokes’
Regina Taylor, said:
‘This is not the time to be silent.
Very excited to join these voices
to explore these fast shifting times’
These two new monologues will be presented as the culmination of a week-long celebration of International Women’s Day which will begin with the re-releasing of a selection of the One Hand Tied Behind Us One Voice series. Originally curated by Maxine Peake in 2018, this series marked 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act gave the first women in Britain the right to vote. The re-released monologues are: Betsy by Ella Hickson, performed by Jill Halfpenny; Contactless by Maxine Peake, performed by Siobhan McSweeney; Imagine That by Kit de Waal, performed by Flo Wilson; Mother’s Little Helper 1963 by Jeanette Winterson, performed by Celia Imrie.
The Old Vic is a registered charity in receipt of no regular public subsidy and with its doors currently closed is in great financial difficulty. Yet, despite this, the theatre remains committed to staying connected with audiences through the Your Old Vic programme, a provision of free content including archive productions, the PlayCrush podcast and our Education Hub.
For up-to-date information people can visit oldvictheatre.com/your-old-vic or follow @oldvictheatre #YourOldVic on social media.
One Voice is a series of monologues, funded by the TS Eliot Estate, celebrating the rawest of theatre forms – a single voice on a stage without scenery and with nothing to rely on but words.
One Hand Tied Behind Us YouTube premiere dates:
Mon 01 Mar, 10am GMT: Betsy by Ella Hickson, performed by Jill Halfpenny
Tue 02 Mar, 10am GMT: Contactless by Maxine Peake, performed by Siobhan McSweeney
Wed 03 Mar, 10am GMT: Imagine That by Kit de Waal, performed by Flo Wilson
Thu 04 Mar, 10am GMT: Mother’s Little Helper 1963 by Jeanette Winterson, performed by Celia Imrie
Age recommendation: 12+
Putting A Face On YouTube premiere date:
Mon 08 Mar, 10am GMT
Age recommendation: 14+
Aisha (the black album) YouTube premiere date:
Mon 08 Mar, 10am GMT
Age recommendation: 14+
Theatre includes: Cover My Tracks (The Old Vic); The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Theatre); Queen Margaret (Royal Exchange, Manchester); Julius Caesar, Henry IV, The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse); Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre). Film includes: Fisherman’s Friends, Last Christmas. Television includes: His Dark Materials, The Drowning, Cleaning Up, Turn Up Charlie. Jade also wrote, directed and co-starred in the short film Her & Her, and has held a TEDxtalk entitled Being Black, Being a Woman, Being ‘Other’.
Theatre includes: Crave, random/generations (Chichester Festival Theatre); Hamlet for young audiences (National Theatre); Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith); Vassa (Almeida); The Color Purple (Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre), dirty butterfly (Young Vic). Theatre as Assistant Director includes: wonder.land (National Theatre); Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well (RSC); The Changeling (Young Vic). Tinuke trained at LAMDA and in 2014 received the Genesis Future Director Award. In 2015–2016 Tinuke was the Gate’s Associate Director and she is currently an Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Theatre as Performer and Writer includes: Victim, Complex, Appropriate Adult (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Soho Theatre, UK tour); Amusical (Pleasance, Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Tarot (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Television & radio as Writer includes: Newsjack, which she hosts, The Russell Howard Hour (Sky One), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4), The Learners (BBC Radio Wales). Kiri also hosts hit podcast All Killa No Filla, and is a double Chortle Award winning stand-up comedian, writer and satirist. Kiri recently won the BBCs prestigious Caroline Aherne comedy bursary. She regularly appears on panel shows including Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, 8 out of 10 Cats, Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You?.
Theatre as a playwright includes: Drowning Crow (Broadway); Bread – Edgerton Award; Crowns – four Helen Hayes Awards; Oo-Bla-Dee – ATC/Steinberg New Play Award, The Trinity River Plays – Edgerton Foundation Award; stop.reset. Theatre as an actress includes: Romeo and Juliet (Broadway). Film as an actress includes: All Day and a Night, Saturday Church, The Negotiator, Clockers, Cora Unashamed. Television as an actress includes: Lovecraft Country, Council of Dads, The Unit, The Good Fight, I’ll Fly Away – Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress, three NAACP Image Awards; Dig. Regina is the Andrew Mellon Grant Playwright in Residence for Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre. Regina is a Residency Five Playwright at Signature Theatre NYC.
Theatre includes: Labour of Love (West End); Teenage Dick, Julius Caesar, Henry IV (Donmar); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun (Crucible, Sheffield); Game, Dream Pill (Almeida); A Little on the Inside (Clean Break/Almeida); Hotel (National Theatre); Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court); Three Birds (Royal Exchange, Manchester/Bush). Film include Enola Holmes; The Ghost and the House of Truth; Half of a Yellow Sun. Television includes: Truth Seekers, Super Simple Love Story, Year of the Rabbit, Dark Money, Chewing Gum, Crazyhead – BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Award and RTS West Award for Best On Screen Performance, Porters.
The Old Vic
The Old Vic is an artistic powerhouse with a strong social mission that for over two centuries has remained at the centre of its civic, creative and cultural community. During this time the theatre has taken on many identities (an opera house, a temperance tavern and a college to name a few) and has been no stranger to adversity as it has battled fires, bankruptcies and bombing. But throughout this time one element has endured; an unwavering determination to remain a beacon of hope, entertainment, education, solace and inspiration with a social mission to be a force for good. And now, during this period of closure, the theatre is once again working to stay meaningfully connected with all its audiences: theatre-goers, creatives, schools, young people, the local community and supporters.
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity, vision and compassion of our partners and donors to step up and stand by us during this crisis, permitting us to repurpose their funding, and even gifting us additional support, to creatively adapt and evolve during this unique time.