Women’s Hour

Women’s Hour opens HOME’s Orbit Festival for me.  I first saw Sh!t Theatre in Edinburgh this year performing Letters to Windsor House, which was impressive. This was clearly a theatre company with an intelligent and unique take on current social issues.  Women’s Hour is their 2015 Fringe show.  Two women are given just one hour a day to think about what it is to be a woman, based around a hypothetical radio show ‘Women’s Hour’.

I love what Sh!t Theatre do.  It’s full of energy, fun, and clever ways of presenting complex and at times unanswerable questions.  But at the same time, there are difficult issues behind the material.  They have the ability to make you laugh and feel appalled at the same time.  Conflicting emotions are a powerful way of getting the message across.  Women’s Hour takes a very broad look at how women are perceived, covering objectification, the role of the beauty industry, music videos, and self image.  They throw ideas out into the audience, using spoken word, dance, clowning, song and video, and ask you to make up your own mind.  They even launch crumpets into the audience.

From their website:  ‘Our work celebrates ‘live-ness’ – lines are learnt and then un-learnt, sections are left to be devised on stage, pieces re-written in response to the specific audience. We love improvisation, cracks in the facepaint, failure and being SH!T’

It just about holds together, but in the end there’s too much material to cover and the issues are just too big; focus is at times lost so that the pace suffers.  We join the disparate ideas together to draw a conclusion, but there are still gaps.  Compare this to Letters to Windsor House, which selects a more manageable topic and has time and space to fully do it justice.  But having seen both shows, this company have a very bright future.

Woman’s Hour was was of HOME’s Orbit Festival from 29 Sept – 1 Oct.

Orbit continues until 15 October, with a total of 11 shows from the past two years of Edinburgh Fringe.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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