Written by Paul Mason
Directed by Sasha McMurray
25 Apr 2017 to 20 May 2017
The White Bear Theatre, London
Paris 1871: A revolt takes control of a global city. In the nal days, working class women - from seamstresses to teachers to sex workers - choose to take up arms, desperate to defend the freedoms they have won. Their attempt fails and these female revolutionaries are exiled to remote New Caledonia.
As hopes of escape fade, their fate collides with that of the island's indigenous people, also simmering with revolt. Some women will compromise with their new reality but one is determined to resist to the bitter end . .
Based on the memoirs of 19th century feminist icon Louise Michel, Paul Mason's play asks: what happens when downtrodden people experience the transformative power of mass action, only to be defeated?
Post show talks
Sundays 30th April, 7th May & 14th May & Tuesday 9th May - Paul Mason's short video documentary Traces of Louise Michel will be shown as part of an after-show discussion, hosted by Paul Mason.
Click on the following links for more information about the play -Paul Mason (the playwright) writing about the play
Jerome Ngondai - Koue
Jerome trained at both East 15 and ALRA.
Jerome has appeared in Entertaining Strangers directed by Ken McClymont (ALRA), Beak Street by Greg Freeman (Tabard and Theatre Delicatessen), Sum Zero (Lyric Hammersmith) Unsigned (Tristan Bates). He also toured Smashed by Pidor Tampa across London. He recently appeared in CBS Reality's 'Killer Cops' playing the title role and will be appearing in the new Michael Jackson biopic; 'Man in the Mirror' on Channel 5.
David Rawlins - Mahoa
Theatre includes -
Reece in Meltemi (Moors Theatre), The Traveller in Matryoshka's Journey (Barons Court Theatre), Dr Huld/Willem in The Trial (John Lyons Theatre), The Officer in The Doorkeeper (Edinburgh Fringe)
Short Film includes -
Immure (Uzong Films), Good Morning, Morning (Moving Culture Film Productions), Desmond (Knifedge), Life (Red Rocket)
Lisa Moorish - Louise
Lisa Moorish began her acting career after a successful stint in the music industry, reaching the top 20 with her duet with pop legend George Michael. In 2014, having trained with Oscar-nominated producer, Giles Foreman, her first supporting role was playing the mother of a dying teen, in Eke Chukwu's 'Zoe and the Astronaut'. Other roles followed in Reg Travis' 'Anti-Social' with Megan Markle (Suits) and Grime artist, Skepta. Turning her talents to immersive theatre, Moorish played lead female, Foxy Death, in Richard Crawford's adrenalin-charged production of 'Dusk Til Dawn'. Lisa's latest role is the lead female in a new film by the Rwandan award-winning screenwriter, director and producer, Kivu Ruhorahoza, 'A Tree Has Fallen'. Her next project is a short film directed by award-winning director Layke Anderson.
Robyn Hoedemaker - Adele
Robyn trained at LAMDA. Since graduating she has performed both on stage and screen, as well as taking an active role in the running of new theatre company 'Monday Club', where she has acted in, written, and directed number of pieces for the Chelsea Theatre. Before training, Robyn studied at Cambridge University, where she acted in, directed, and stage-managed over 20 productions.
Selected acting credits include -
Girl in In Place (Met Film School), Lisa in The Wonderful World of Disscocia (Bread & Roses), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Ugly Duck Warehouses), Viola in Twelfth Night (LAMDA), Laura in Before the Party (LAMDA)
Jane MacFarlane - Nathalie
Jane trained as a cellist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before training as an actor at The Poor School.
Theatre includes -
Troilus and Cressida, A Month in the Country, Camino Real, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal Shakespeare Company) Great Expectations (Traverse) GOOD, The Trick is to Keep Breathing (Tron Theatre) The Railway Children (Nottingham Playhouse)
Ottilie Mackintosh - Marie
Training - BA (Hons) Acting, MMU School of Theatre
Theatre includes - The Level Of Being (Nottingham Actors Studio / Hen & Chickens Theatre).
TV & Film includes - Doctors (BBC), Young Jo in Little Crackers (Sky 1), Petroleum Spirit (Mirror Productions).
Paul Mason - Writer
Paul Mason is a journalist and film-maker. He writes a weekly column in the Guardian. He is the author of five books, the latest of which - Postcapitalism: a Guide to Our Future - is a bestseller. Born in Leigh, Lancashire in 1960, Paul has covered major social and political conflicts for both the BBC and Channel 4 News, including the Gaza war of 2014, Hurricane Katrina and the Greek unrest of 2015. His engagement with the history of the Paris Commune began with his first book, Live Working or Die Fighting. In 2016 he wrote and directed the short movie Astoria, commissioned by the Young Vic Theatre, about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Sasha McMurray - Director
Sasha is co-founder of Watch Your Head. Prior to Watch Your Head Sasha worked on development at the National Theatre Studio and held the position of Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre.
Direction for Watch Your Head -
Cinderella, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Selected Staff/Assistant Director credits include -
I Wish to Die Singing, Princess Ida, This Heaven (Finborough) Hobson's Choice (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre) Disgraced (Bush Theatre) HOME (National Theatre).
Anna Orton - Set Designer
MA Theatre Design, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
MA Fine Art, Duncan of Joranstone
BaHons, Duncan of Jordanstone
As set or costume designer credits include -
The last Queen of Scotland (Director Jemima Levick) - A Stellar Quines production, supported and commissioned by NTS and Dundee REP, Champ (Director Jesse Jones) - Tobacco Factory, A Play a Pie and a Pint, Bristol, Still Here (Director Sarah Bradly), co-design Natasha Mortimer - Zoo Edinburgh Festival, King Lear Set Design, (Director Tom Morris) - Bristol Old Vic Theatre Royal
As associate/assistant credits include -
Richard Evans, studio assistant, Kirsty McCabe, The Night After Christmas, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Robert Innes Hopkins, Associate Designer, Kenny Morgan - The Arcola, London, Sam Wilde, Eloise and the Curse of the Golden Whisk, The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol, Angela Davies, Wind in the Willows, Redgrave Theatre, Bristol, Angela Davies, Living Quarters, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, Robert Innes Hopkins, Assistant Studio and Costume Design, Madam Butterfly - Danish National Opera, Robert Innes Hopkins, Assistant Studio Design, The Crucible - Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Fiona Rigler - Costume Designer
Fiona recently graduated from the MA Theatre Design course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School having previously gained a degree in Costume and Performance Design from Arts University Bournemouth in 2014.
Recent design work includes -
Freefall (Unit Twenty Three) directed by Stuart Mullins; The Fletton Railway Children (Eastern Angles, Peterborough) directed by Poppy Rowley; Ruins (the egg, Theatre Royal Bath) directed by John East; The Wizard of Oz (Brockville Arts Centre, Ontario) directed by Cameron Carver.
Previous design work -
The Trojan Women (Bristol Old Vic Studio) directed by Sally Cookson; Playhouse Creatures (Tobacco Factory) directed by Jenny Stephens; Never Swim Alone (Alma Tavern Theatre) directed by Cameron Carver; The Glass Slipper (Short film for Arts University Bournemouth) Antigone (Arts Educational School London); SOURCE (Outer London Arts Venues with Cirque Bijou and Nutkhut).
Martha Godfrey - Stage Manager
Lewis den Hertog - Projectionist & Sound Designer
"As Michel, Lisa Moorish's eyes flicker with zeal. Robyn Hoedemaker is particularly moving as Adele, who sacrifices herself for her love of Marie. Director Sasha McMurray has the Kanaks, Koue and Mahoua, played by Jerome Ngondai and David Rawlins, haunt the margins of the space, a reflection of their marginalised role in colonial history; Rawlins in particular exhibits an exquisite stillness."
Sam Williams, The Stage
"Mason nicely contrasts the conflicting attitudes within the all female communards' circle as they try to come to terms with their deportation: Ottilie Mackintosh as a drunken and anxious Marie and Robyn Hoedemaker as Adele give a realistic portrayal of female survivors who don't quite know what has hit them."
Verity Healey, The London Economic
"The cast do give passionate performances, in particular Ottilie Mackintosh who has a wonderfully expressive face. There's impressive sound design from Lewis den Hertog, at one point as the sound of grasshoppers and locusts reached a crescendo, I found myself patting and scratching at my legs convinced the insects were actually there."
"It's meaty stuff, . . providing contrast to the heroine, played by Lisa Moorish with a ferocious and yet dreamy intensity"
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
". . . a stand-out performance from Ottilie Mackintosh as the former prostitute and communard Marie. With her huge blazing eyes, jutting chin and long, angular limbs, screaming her defiance beneath a red flag on the barricade, or spitting out a defence of love on the island, she is strikingly compelling."
Sam Marlowe, The Times
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