REPRESENTATION: The cast of Suffragedon
2018 MARKS 100 years since women’s right to vote, and the latest production of Suffrageddon comes with a fresh, necessary and insightful take on the movement.
It’s not widely known that only a specific group of women were given the right to vote at that time, meaning many women of colour and those from working class backgrounds were rejected from this basic right. However, with this production, the cast and the story sheds light on the unsung heroes of the fight for women’s right to vote.
Speaking to Omahrose, one of the woman a part of Suffrageddon, she gave us an understanding of why herself and her team created a full cast of women of colour. “There wasn’t much spoken about in regards to women of colour at the time. The Indian suffragettes were very involved in the suffrage but there’s very little information of women of colour during that process.”
The story of the suffragette movement never really spoke to Omahrose, and this feeling was echoed by the women of colour also cast in the show. It was an important movement that was catalyst for a large majority of the rights women get now, and she wanted to reflect this and present a story that speaks to all types of women.
Suffrageddon is a musical production – Omarhoses’s first – and blends the women’s movement with hip hop – an interesting mesh as hip hop is often portrayed as locking women in a hyper sexualised box, yet the origins of the genre were contributed largely to women.
“I’ve never written a musical before but I think that’s what’s been quite special about it. The first conversation I had about it was with Deborah Frances-White, she does the ‘Guilty Feminist’ podcast and she’s commissioned the production. It was initially her idea and she suggested there be a mash up of the suffrage, musical theatre and hip hop.”
Omahrose, Roxxxan, Mark Hodge and Oracy wrote the musical together, combining their niches to come up with the production. “We wanted to make the musical theatre aspect of it really strong, but we also wanted to make the hip hop aspect of it really strong.”
“Musical theatre has the ability to very emotive and performance based, and hip hop is also used as an expression of emotion, whether it be politics or just speaking your mind. It’s a winning combination and if it works, they work really well together.”
Despite the many theatrical aspects to the production, at its core, the main inspiration was the centenary of women’s suffrage. On asking Omahrose about the poignancy of the production she said “It was a big inspiration. It’s been 100 years since some women got the vote and it was a little achievement in the long road of fighting for women’s equality. It’s relevant content.”
Suffrageddon premiered on the ‘Guilty Feminist’ podcast at the Poladium, with an amazing cast and all round musical theatre production. “For the cast to be able to perform at Latitude, which was awarded Best Major Festival by the Festival Awards, is an exciting platform for us,” she says.
“A lot of different people go to festivals, especially younger people and we’re hoping to bring Suffragedon to a different audience as well.”
Suffrageddon will next be performing a section of the show on the 24th May 2018 at the Palladium and the 29th June 2018 at the Roundhouse, as part of the ‘Guilty Feminist’ live podcast recording.
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