Lysistrata at the Time's Up Rally

Yesterday, 21st January 2018, was the anniversary of last year’s Women’s March, which advocated for legislation and policies regarding a whole range of issues including women’s rights. This year’s Time’s Up Rally, in remembrance of last year’s march, advocated for an end to  gender based violence, sexual harassment and abuse.
2500 years after Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata, just three weeks before we put on our production, women and men took to the roads around Downing Streets to incite political action in a way that seemed strangely reminiscent of our play. 

Standing in the middle of London, surrounded by others with placards saying ‘nevertheless we persist’ and ‘nobody is free until every body is free’, I was reminded of how far we have come - a group of women protesting in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world was considered so humorous by Aristophanes that he wrote a whole comedy on that premise, but has now become a reality that is celebrated across the globe - people of all nationalities are taking to their streets to demand equal treatment for women. 

In some ways, it made our production of Lysistrata seem all the more poignant - the idea of women having to go on a sex strike in order to achieve what they desire has, thankfully, become so alien to us that it has become a source of comedy for modern audiences. We are now valued for our voices as well as our bodies, and today’s Rally is a testament to that.

Of course, this fight is not only for women - it is for everyone of every gender. Our knowledge and power in issues of gender is growing, and I hope our production reflects that. Our production, which one cast member has referred to as the ‘sublime joy of gender-queering Aristophanes’, seeks to reflect modern day gender politics, and the desire for a society free of any gender based discrimination and even for the boundaries between gender to be broken down completely.

However, it is clear we still have so far to go - gender politics is an ongoing battle, and one in which we have come so far, which becomes strikingly clear when watching the play. We must persist, and I hope when you come to see the play in a few short weeks, you are reminded of the power of our voices as well as our actions and what we can achieve with them.

‘To the rebel girls of the world: dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder, and, when in doubt, remember you are right’ - Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

- Chloe Tye, Assistant Producer


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