I was invited by Damsel Productions to be part of the outdoor festival of theatre made by womxn and non binary artists. I was lucky enough to be collaborating with Timberlake Wertenbaker on a new monologue 'Vixen' performed by Sakuntala Ramanee and designed by Anna Reid. Our performance took place on a park bench in Ravenscourt Park under the canopy of trees. It was a meditative collective experience, connecting with nature and each other and sharing a story of migration, gentrification and identity politics.
About the festival
The project brings together an all womxn and non binary inclusive team of four writers, four directors, four designers. The pieces staged will be scenes, monologues, music, poetry and beyond - the only requirement is that the piece is enhanced by being outdoors, not hindered. It is a chance for the artists to explore the creative potentials of the outside, with no limitations on the subject matter.
This August will see Damsel Outdoors take place in locations including Portobello Road and Bankside as four compelling new pieces of theatre are staged across London. Damsel has worked with local authorities and communities to find accessible and exciting spaces to stage these pieces which embrace theatre and performance outside. Maintaining social distancing, in line with government guidelines, the shows will be open for anyone to watch and free for all audience members.
The festival opens on Thursday 13th August when the Damsel Green creative team will come to Under the Canopy, Portobello Road. Directed by Abigail Graham (The Tyler Sisters, Hampstead) and designed by Anna Clock (I WANNA BE YOURS, The Albany, Bush Theatre and UK tour), Take Back Control The Virus by Iman Qureshi (The Funeral Director) plays with the contradiction of rising anti-immigration sentiment in a Britain heavily reliant on frontline services dominated by immigrant workers.
The Damsel Blue creative team will take to the stage on a park bench in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith on Monday 17th August. Vixen from Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good) is a piercing looking at identity politics and stigma through the persona of a wandering vixen. It is directed by Sita Thomas (The Rose and the Bulbul, Kadam) with design by Anna Reid (The Sweet Science of Bruising, Wilton’s Music Hall).
Transcendent from the Damsel Yellow team will open outside the Tate Modern on Bankside on Friday 21st August. Benedict Lombe’s (rise from the wreckage) piece is a lyrical celebration of Black Love fusing song, rap and poetry, all through the eyes of a couple grappling with a future in a world dominated by racial injustice. It is directed by Beth Pitts (Spine, Soho Theatre and UK tour) and designed by Khadija Raza (A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court Theatre).
Damsel Pink concludes the Damsel Outdoors festival with Clapped by Abi Zakarian (Fabric) on Sunday 23rd August at Giffin Square in Deptford. Directed by Lakesha Arie-Angelo (soft animals, Soho Theatre) with design by Nicola Chang (White Pearl, Royal Court Theatre), Clapped is a provocative interrogation of culpability and hypocrisy of a Britain clapping for its NHS, as growing protests fight to be heard.