Blackpool Grand Theatre celebrates International Women's Day
7 March 2023
by Visit Blackpool
Blackpool Grand Theatre is marking International Women’s Day 2023 – #EmbraceEquity by shining the spotlight on three inspiring women who create unforgettable live theatre
Blackpool Grand Theatre is applauding three truly talented women in theatre for this year’s International Women’s Day – #EmbraceEquity on Wednesday 8 March.
We believe the How Not To Drown director and playwright Nicola McCartney; Pride and Prejudice (*sort of) award-winning actor, playwright and director Isobel McArthur and 5 Soldiers choreographer Rosie Kay should be celebrated for their creative contributions to the world of theatre and for being the incredibly inspirational women they are!
Men may continue to outnumber women in the theatre world, but a growing number of gifted and innovative females are stepping into the spotlight and offering a fantastic and diverse collection of productions to entertain, awe and inspire. As playwrights, directors, performers and choreographers; women are increasingly influencing theatre, breaking exciting new ground and inspiring the next generation of female theatre artists.
Here we celebrate the work of three exceptional women in British theatre today who are at the forefront of transforming the industry.
Nicola McCartney is a renowned director, playwright, editor and literary adviser. After training as a director, Nicola became the Artistic Director of Look Out Theatre Company and an Associate Playwright. While she's worked extensively as a literary adviser, some of her most influential plays include Heritage, the biographical Standing Wave: Delia Derbyshire in the 60s, Easy, Home Lifeboat and Cave Dwellers. In 1996, Nicola directed the national tour of Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Nicola is also an advocate of social theatre, having worked with people in the UK and US criminal justice systems, drug users, childhood abuse and domestic violence survivors, asylum seekers and refugees. She was awarded a Writers' Guild of Great Britain Olwen Wymark award for her work in encouraging theatre in 2018.
Nicola's fast-paced physical theatre production How Not To Drown, which comes to Blackpool Grand Theatre from Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 March, shares the inspirational and uplifting true story of an unaccompanied young asylum-seeker arriving in the UK. In 2002, in the turmoil after the end of the Kosovan War, 11-year-old Dritan Kastrati was sent on the notoriously perilous journey across the Adriatic with a gang of people smugglers to a new life in Europe. Relying on young wit and charm on his journey to the UK, Dritan’s fight for survival continues when he finds himself caught within the British care system, struggling to cling onto his identity and sense of self. Performed by a talented ensemble cast, including Dritan himself, this is must-see theatre…
After training at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland, Isobel McArthur has risen through the ranks to become an Olivier award-winning actor, playwright and director with numerous notable credits to her name, including A Christmas Carol, Quiz! and a new version of Stevenson's classic adventure Kidnapped. Isobel’s highly praised plays have toured the UK and are also performed internationally, and she is currently under commission with the National Theatre of Scotland and The Traverse Theatre, among others.
Her riotous retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (*sort of) is a unique and affectionate take on the classic love story, which snapped up a prestigious Olivier Award for Best Comedy during its smash hit West End run. The poptastic period drama is now heading to Blackpool Grand from Tuesday 2 to Saturday, 6 May where men, money and microphones will be fought over in this hilarious modern-day musical, where the stakes for the Bennetts, the Bingleys and the infamous Mr Darcy couldn’t be higher when it comes to romance. Let the ruthless matchmaking begin! Isobel is also credited as playwright and lead performer in How to Sing it, Wonderful World of Sound and she also performed in Ella Hickson's Wendy & Peter Pan, Anthony Neilson's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Mike Bartlett's metrosexual play, Cock.
Rosie Kay is a celebrated choreographer renowned for her rigorous research, gifted theatricality and athletic movement. After launching her own dance company, Rosie became Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Oxford, using the archive of the Pitts Rivers Museum to create Sluts of Possession alongside Brazillian dance artist Guilherme Miotto with whom she also performed the trance-like piece. She choreographed the handover in the 2018 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, worked on the hit film Sunshine on Leith and the high energy of MK ULTRA. Meanwhile, her production of Romeo and Juliet was performed as a double bill at the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Rosie is known for making highly researched and socially minded political work and her award-winning contemporary dance piece 5 Soldiers is where she truly made her name. This unmissable, five-star work offers no moral stance on war, but instead questions what it is that we ask of our soldiers and offers a necessary glimpse into a world we mostly prefer to ignore. One enthralled audience member said: “5 Soldiers was an extraordinary experience. I can’t think of anything else I have ever seen that spoke directly to me on a physical level. I found myself both interpreting the performance mentally and literally feeling it. The deeply realistic work explodes into The Grand on Friday 12 May exploring how the human body remains essential to war, with Kay’s trademark intense physical and athletic dance theatre. In 2008, Kay joined the 4th Battalion The Rifles, to watch and participate in full battle exercises, and visited the Defense and National Rehabilitation Centre for our Armed Forces. The performance will be followed by a post-show discussion with the company, community members and local military representation.
Don’t miss this trio of dazzling stage productions from three legendary women creatives at Blackpool Grand Theatre and #EmbraceEquity this International Women’s Day…
Book now for Nicola McCartney’s How Not To Drown, Rosie Kay’s 5 Soldiers and Isobel McArthur’s Pride and Prejudice (*sort of) at Blackpool Grand Theatre.
Visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 290 190.