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The Cause – An Overture of Rebellion and Revolt

October 19, 2018

Written by Natalie McGrath

Directed/ Dramaturgy by Josie Sutcliffe

1913. Revolution stings the air. In an orchard two women meet in secret. Their actions have divided them. Divided a nation. Split their cause in two. What happens when the two women are suffrage leaders; Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett?

The Cause considers the impact of a lifetime of political campaigning on an individual.

Asking how far would you go for what you believe in?

The play begins with a new voice, a younger voice called Trumpet, who connects with us, acting as a bridge between one world and another. The past and the present:

“here we are, revolution stings the air, can you feel it? it is everywhere”

Set against the historical background of 1913; a time of heightened militant activity by the suffragettes & the great women’s suffrage pilgrimage led by law-abiding suffragists, we have conjured an imagined meeting between these two great women leaders & set it in an orchard. Natalie wanted the two women in a private space, outside in nature, unseen & unheard by any others. This ethereal setting “They are ghosts..” says Trumpet, releases us into realms where the imagination can run free from the constraints of historical fact. Where we can imagine a more visceral and human contact than that found in many historical dramas. What must it have been like to lead an ‘army’ of women in these times when women were not considered to have enough “competent understanding” to have the vote? What part does the natural world have to play in the fight for equality? What might happen between two women who respected each other whilst choosing different ways & means to achieve the same goal?

The Cause feels timely with the current energy and visibility of women’s rights and gender equality campaigning that is taking place, and the centenary of the first votes for some women. As we developed the work, we met many women who have been campaigning for a long time. I really felt those stories that were shared with us at Dreadnought very deeply, and they have emerged as being at the heart of this play about Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst.” Playwright Natalie McGrath

53two, Manchester, 19th October, 2.30pm & 7.30pm 


October 19, 2018
Event Category:


Dreadnought Theatre