Roaring Girls Debates

Erica Whyman

A series of debates to accompany the season of plays on the Swan stage. 

Roaring Girls On Stage
Saturday 9 August
Swan Theatre
10.15 - 11.15am
Jo Davies (director The Roaring Girl), Polly Findlay (director Arden of Faversham), Timberlake Wertenbaker (playwright The Ant and the Cicada) and Dr Kate Aughterson discuss the legacy of the three classical plays with Erica Whyman.

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Roaring Girls Through History
Saturday 23 August
Swan Theatre
10.15 - 11.15am
Erica Whyman chairs a discussion on the changes to the feminist landscape both in the last 500 years and the last 50, with Susie Orbach and Professor Catherine Belsey.

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Few Roles For Women: A Talk with Harriet Walter
Sunday 7 September
Swan Theatre
3 - 3.45pm
Harriet Walter on her personal investigation into why there are fewer satisfying roles for women than men, particularly in classical theatre and for older women.

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Tickets £8 per session. Suitable for ages 16+.

Buy tickets online or call the RSC Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1110. Further information on the speakers is available below.

This summer, the Swan Theatre plays host to the Roaring Girls season, a series of Jacobean plays with wonderful roles for women, while the Midsummer Mischief festival of new writing features plays written in response to the Roaring Girls season, and to the initial provocation: “Well behaved women seldom make history”.

Join the RSC's Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman for a series of supporting debates on the Swan stage. A variety of expert speakers and commentators will discuss what it means to be a contemporary roaring girl, the role of feminism in the staging of the Roaring Girls season and the development of the feminist movement over time.

Roaring Girls On Stage

Saturday 9 August
A debate exploring the context in which the three classical plays were written and their legacy. It will feature directors and writers from the Roaring Girls season and Midsummer Mischief, with commentary by Dr Kate Aughterson. Chaired by Erica Whyman.

Jo Davies, who directs The Roaring Girl, began her career as an RSC Assistant Director and recently directed Opera North's acclaimed production of Carousel. She is currently working on Silly Kings for National Theatre Wales, which opens in Cardiff later this year.

Polly Findlay, making her RSC directorial debut with Arden of Faversham, recently directed the Olivier-award winning Derren Brown: Svengali and Antigone for the National Theatre. She is directing War Horse for the National in Berlin and will direct a new play by Tim Price at the National Theatre Shed later this year.

Timberlake Wertenbaker, whose new play The Ant and the Cicada features in the Midsummer Mischief festival this summer, is one of Britain's most celebrated playwrights and is currently the Chair in Playwriting at the University of East Anglia, artistic adviser to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and on the council of the Royal Society of Literature. She has written and translated over 30 plays including Our Country's Good, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Antigone and Our Ajax.

Dr Kate Aughterson is the Academic Programme Leader for Literature, Media and Screen at Brighton University. Her research interests focus on seventeenth century drama, notably with regard to gender and literature, sexuality and literature, and performance culture. She is the author of Renaissance Woman (1995); Aphra Behn: The Comedies (2003) and Shakespeare: The Late Plays (2013).

Swan Theatre
10.15 - 11.15am

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Roaring Girls Through History

Saturday 23 August
How have things changed for roaring girls since Moll Cutpurse first hit the stage in the sixteenth century? Erica Whyman chairs a discussion looking at the changes to the feminist landscape, both over the last 500 years and in the last 50. She will be joined by Susie Orbach and Professor Catherine Belsey.

Psychotherapist, writer and social critic Susie Orbach first published Fat is a Feminist Issue in 1978. Since then she has regularly published books which examine societal influences on female body image.

Professor Catherine Belsey has an international reputation as a deft and sophisticated critical theorist and subtle and eloquent critic of literature, particularly of Renaissance texts. Formerly Chair of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory at Cardiff University, a research forum for discussion and debate on current views of the relation between human beings and culture, her most recent publication was A Future for Criticism (2011).

Swan Theatre
10.15 - 11.15am

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Few Roles For Women: A Talk with Harriet Walter

Sunday 7 September
Join RSC Associate Artist Harriet Walter on her personal investigation into why there are fewer satisfying roles in theatre for women than there are for men, especially in the classical repertory and especially for older women.

On deciding she is “now beginning to feel like a repetitive grumpy old moaner”, Harriet began to analyse the causes that have led to the lack of roles for women in the theatre, her inquiry led her from ancient Greece to modern Hollywood, via Shakespeare, the Restoration and the kitchen sink. Following Harriet's talk there will be a Q & A with the audience led by Erica Whyman.

As well as having worked extensively in theatre, television, film and radio, Harriet is the author of three books including Facing It: Reflections on Images of Older Women published in 2011.

Swan Theatre
3 - 3.45pm

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Tickets £8 per session. Suitable for ages 16+.

Buy tickets online or call the RSC Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1110.

Please note: In the event of unforeseen circumstances, alternative speakers may be presented without notice 

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