On this day 100 years ago, the 1918 Representation of the People Act enfranchised some women for the first time. We take a look at how theatres across the country are marking the occasion.


Maxine Peake
Maxine Peake
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Old Vic has commissioned two projects as part of its bicentennial celebrations. The first is an evening curated by Maxine Peake on Sunday 11 March. One Hand Tied Behind Us will feature new monologues exploring key moments in the history of women's rights by writers including Peake, Bola Agbaje, Kit de Waal and Jeanette Winterson. The second is Sylvia (1 to 22 September), a new musical by Kate Prince. Written by Prince and Priya Parmar, the production will combine hip-hop, soul and funk to celebrate the life of women's rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst.

Manchester's feminist festival, Wonder Women, returns for a fifth year and includes She Bangs The Drums (8 to 11 March). Directed by Sh!t Theatre's Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, the piece sees Contact Young Company delves into the history of the city, from the Suffragettes to the Chartists.

Lucy Kirkwood
Lucy Kirkwood
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Oxford Playhouse's year-long season, A Vote of Her Own, features a promenade piece by Clare Bayley created with the theatre's 17|25 Young Company. Taking place at Oxford Town Hall (20 and 21 March), On the March looks at the battles for women's rights. And University of Oxford students will present Lucy Kirkwood's modern-day adaptation of Ibsen's Hedda (21 to 24 February).

Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

After the announcement that Jude Kelly will step down as artistic director of the Southbank Centre in May, this year's Women of the World Festival (7 to 11 March) will be a poignant one. Talks include; Badass Girls From History, Refusing to be Silenced and Would You Have Been a Suffragette?

BBC Proms 2014 at the Royal Albert Hall
BBC Proms 2014 at the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is also running a year-long series of events to mark the centenary. Highlights include a live recording of The Guilty Feminist podcast; That's What She Said – a night of spoken word featuring Sabrina Mahfouz, Bidisha, Sophia Walker, Lisa Luxx and Deanna Rodger; and a screening of Suffragette followed by a Q&A with the film's director Sarah Gavron.

Red Ladder will present Wrong ‘Un, a one-woman musical tribute by Boff Whalley to the women who fought for suffrage at Whitworth Library (17 March) and Halton Mill (18 March).

The World War I cultural programme 14-18 NOW mark the occasion with a series of events entitled Represent. The initiative, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, has commissioned three female artists under the age of 30 to make new works. These include Debris Stevenson whose new piece will play the Royal Court this autumn, and, also in the autumn, Arnolfini in Bristol present a new play by Selina Thompson. Sortition will imagine what the country would look like with representatives selected not by election but by lottery.