Our proposed entry for this year’s Lighthorne Festival of One Act Plays will be How the Vote Was Won directed by Jess Cherry.
The festival itself takes place 6-10 June; however we are planning to fit in a couple of preview performances in May, dates TBC. Rehearsals will start in February, and are likely to be Monday evenings.
The play itself runs for about 25-30 minutes and has 10 characters – 2M /8F - however two of the female characters (Lily and Winifred) can double up as they only appear at the beginning.
First performed in 1908, How the Vote Was Won is a one act comedy by actress and activist Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St. John. The action is set in the living room of Horace and Ethel Cole in Brixton, London, on the day of a general women’s strike called by Suffragettes because the Government has said that women do not need votes as they are all looked after by men. All the women who have previously supported themselves agree to leave their jobs and homes and instead insist on support from their nearest male relative. As Horace’s female relatives arrive at his house one after the other, he comes to realize something must be done and rushes to Parliament, along with all the other men in London, to demand “Votes for Women” as soon as possible.
There will be a reading of the play, followed by an informal discussion on Wednesday 25 January at 8.00pm in the Village Hall. Rehearsals for our May show will be taking place in the main hall, so we will be meeting in the green room.
Horace Cole, a clerk about 30
Ethel, his wife young, pretty, fluffy little woman
Winifred, her sister, cheerful, capable, emphatic diction
Agatha Cole, Horace’s sister, around 35, dowdy, governess,
Molly, his niece, young, well dressed, plays golf
Madame Christine, his distant relation, smart dress, about 40, elegant, charming, dressmaker
Maudie Spark, his first cousin, aggressively cheerful young woman, raucous voice, heart of gold comedienne/music hall
Miss Lizzie Wilkins, his aunt, middle aged, not well educated but intelligent,
Lily, maid of all work
Gerald Williams, neighbour, smug young man
Cast will be expected to pay £20 show fees plus £10 joining if not an existing member.
Bronze statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester Image: By Delusion23 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75413826