What the Women Did: Remembering or Reducing Women of the First World War on the Contemporary British Stage

TitleWhat the Women Did: Remembering or Reducing Women of the First World War on the Contemporary British Stage
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPhipps, Amanda
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume27
Issue4
Pagination627 - 639
Date Published07/2018
Abstract

This article examines the role of women in theatre productions performed at the beginning of the centenary. The numerous plays produced in response to the start of the centenary often focused on a dominant narrative of the First World War in which soldiers at the Western Front gained the lion’s share of attention. It is against this theatrical backdrop that a study takes place of What the Women Did, a trio of wartime plays revived by Two’s Company at the Southwark Playhouse in 2014. This fringe theatre brought women’s stories to life by revealing their failings, suffering and ambivalence towards men. What the Women Did provides a fruitful case study to explore why complex female experiences during the war struggled to reach modern audiences. This article will ultimately demonstrate the competitive and commoditised nature of remembrance that dictates which stories are kept alive in the twenty-first century.

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