Abi Zakarian is the author of six full-length plays including A Thousand Yards and Swifter, Higher, Stronger; she is one of the playwrights-in-residence for the Schoolwrights scheme in East London.
Her new play This is not an Exit is part of Midsummer Mischief's Programme B, with E.V. Crowe's I Can Hear You.
Book for Programme B >>
Abi Zakarian Q&A
What was your initial reaction to the provocation that 'well behaved women rarely make history'?
As a bare statement, when I first heard it, I thought that it was stating the obvious. But also that it was yet another invocation to women as to how they should behave e.g. badly (whatever that means?). It riled me that you'd never hear the phrase using the masculine; that you'd never hear discussions about 'well behaved men' rarely making history. Women make history all the time, their behaviour – good, bad or entirely unremarkable – should make no difference to how we view their achievements.
What excites you about coming to The Other Place?
Well, it's the place where Buzz Goodbody started something amazing – a home to politically charged, experimental and rough work; driven by a socialist and feminist manifesto. These are words that carry a different charge nowadays; and many people are afraid of nailing colours to the mast. To be able to write something for a space that carries such history within it; to be able to try and provoke the same rough energy, challenging and joyful, is totally thrilling to me.
In a nutshell tell me about your play.
It's a hot mess of a battleground where the wreckage of feminism lies; who's going to get back on their feet? Who will be victorious?
Why should people come and see your play?
Because everyone wants to press the big red button that has a label saying 'do not press' on it; just to see what happens...