Festivals Of Feminism: Speakers And On Stage

Louise Orwin in Pretty Ugly / photo credit Louise Orwin

Louise Orwin in Pretty Ugly / photo credit Louise Orwin

London is getting feminist. If you thought David Cameron’s House of Commons “calm down, dear” retort to Angela Eagle was patronising and sexist, an eponymous festival at the Camden People’s Theatre will tickle your fancy.

CPT co-directors Jenny Paton and Brian Logan explained the rationale behind the event:

We were struck earlier this year by the number of feminist-themed applications to our annual Sprint festival. That didn’t come out of nowhere: the boom in feminist thought and action – from No More Page 3 to Caitlin Moran, from Jane Austen on banknotes to Everyday Sexism on Twitter – has been one of the most heartening features of public life in the last couple of years. Our Calm Down, Dear festival celebrates and channels that. We’re really proud to be hosting some of the most exciting and urgent art to be found at the crest of this feminist new wave.

Perhaps the most exciting event is Bridget Christie’s Edinburgh-winning, feminism-celebrating show A Bic For Her on 27 October, performed before a longer run at the Soho Theatre. There’s also more fantastic comedy from Sara Pascoe, Luisa Omielan and Rosie Wilby.

Theatre performances include Pretty Ugly from Louise Orwin, trying to understand the phenomenon of teenage girls posting videos online and asking people to rate their looks. Amanda Monfrooe uses puppets, pop and spoken word in Poke to create the confession of a failed feminist propagandist. Rosana Cade challenges perceptions of sexuality in My Big Sister Taught Me This Lapdance and even a man gets a look-in as Alan Bissett’s one man play sees him ‘chat’ with Andrea Dworkin in Ban This Filth! There’s also short films, cabaret, a night of gaming and loads more so be sure to browse the programme.

Separately, the Feminism in London conference takes place on 26 October at the Institute of Education in Bloomsbury. Speakers include MP Caroline Lucas, Natalya Dell and Shabina Begum, and the day’s topics range across human trafficking, secular feminism in BME communities, militarism and men’s rights activists. It’s followed by a Stop Porn Culture Event and Reclaim the Night march (and party, of course).

Calm Down, Dear runs 23 October-10 November at Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road NW1. Tickets £10 / £8, except My Big Sister Taught Me This Lapdance £8 / £6. Feminism in London starts 9am on 26 October at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way WC1. Tickets £25 / £10.


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  • Tracheal

    Festivals of bigoted, reverse-sexist, female supremacist hate mongers (feminists) are hardly something to celebrate. Feminism needs to be shut down. No civilized woman or man who backs the worlds most officially coddled hate movement…and that includes David Cameron…can claim any human decency.

    • Evan

      Amen. Equality = bad. Female supremacy = good.

  • Nightmare

    Funny, there is no such thing as reverse-sexism, dear. And yes, as long as you are around, feminism is indefinitely going to be around too. Or, would you like to discuss what ‘human decency’ is? Seems like you need to know. And also, the only hatred I see right now is you. Tranference is a cruel thing, isnt it.

    • Tracheal

      Of course there’s no such thing as reverse-sexism to bigoted members of the Coddled ‘Gender. To them, overwhelming male disposability and totalitarian feminist tyranny are totally invisible. And since feminist human decency is the ultimate ironic oxymoron, you can be sure we will dismantling your hysterical hate movement very very shortly. Ditto on the transference. As Erin Pizzey so rightly stated feminists are damaged women who project their personal damage on all men politically. That’s definitely very cruel but since you seem blind to the cruelty of your totalitarian Twisted Sisters, I guess you’ll have to enjoy their fate in the end too. But don’t say you weren’t warned. And don’t confuse the hatred of hysterical hate mongering bitches for the hatred of women or you’ll simply be one more stupid feminist shame gamer heard from…and ignored.

      • HHGeek

        You were drunk when writing this, yes?

  • Paul

    There’s also a festival of films made by women next month, the Underwire Festival, and, looking substantially further ahead, day/weekend passes for Southbank Centre’s expansive and welcoming Women Of The World (WOW) festival next spring went on sale this week.

    I would have included links to these things but every time I did, your commenting system ate the whole comment, so I’m trying without links now :)

  • Evan

    How wonderfully sexist!