Make no mistake, Vol 1: Blood isn’t a show designed to make you feel indifferent. It is a rallying call for everyone who has ears to shake off apathy and one’s ideological stupor. In the years that I wrote for Female Arts, I have been fortunate to see the rise of female expression in many shapes and forms. This show is the most urgent, the most heartfelt.
Blending physical movement with lyrical recitation, Rose Bruford drama school graduates Shannon Mulvey, Georgia James and Scarlett O’Reilly who make up Sisters of Eden challenge sexism and and the backward mindsets that pervade today.
In terms of the dance/movement sections, blood – or at least the representation of it – plays a big part. The menses – so often portrayed in a negative light – is here a source of strength and identity, warpaint of you will.
In between the physical aspects of the show, each performer verbally takes on a different aspect of being a woman – the celebration of this, the obstacles ingrained in society and the revolution to change the status quo.
On the evening I attended there was a section devoted to Donald Trump, who in many ways encapsulates everything that is wrong with the male hegemony, and whose every policy undermines the rights of women and minority groups. If his rise can be classed as a ‘good thing’, it is because he has forced everyone to ‘wake up’, speak out and prompted women’s marches all over the world to challenge his legacy.
Contining to talk about intersectionality – how oppressive institutions such as sexism, racism and homophobia can’t be separated from each other – the audience was asked a number of questions about its attitudes to feminism and the degree to which standing up for other sections of society who are oppressed (but not necessarily anything to do with us) are put into practice. As shameful as it was enlightening, there was little or no response from the audience in certain areas and certainly gave pause for thought – especially regarding how PC/liberal we really are.
Sisters of Eden have tapped into the zeitgeist and are helping to define the vocabulary that challenges the policies in place that undermine women’s/human rights. Alas, there seems to be no end in sight for politicians without a social conscience. It’s a good thing the Sisters of Eden aren’t going anywhere soon.
© Michael Davis 2017
Vol 1: Blood ran at Camden People’s Theatre on 16th March 2017. It will also run at Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2017 (details below):
The Cat’s Back: 9th May 2017 – 9.30PM to 10.30PM,
The Cat’s Back: 15th May 2017 – 9.30PM to 10.30PM
£10 full price / £8 concession
The Cat’s Back
86-88 Point Pleasant