‘It Takes A Cock’ or does it?:Feminist directorial interventions in Angry Birds the Musical.

Chandler, Clare (2019) ‘It Takes A Cock’ or does it?:Feminist directorial interventions in Angry Birds the Musical. In: Musical Theatre in Process Symposium. UNSPECIFIED.

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In 2018 I directed students from Edge Hill University in a production of Angry Birds by Dougal Irvine. Angry Birds is a punk musical for the politically cynical that explores the story of the Pankhursts and their efforts to achieve women’s suffrage. The musical was initially born of necessity, when in 2015 Irvine was approached by a friend who taught at Havering College in need of an alternative to the standard go-to shows for female heavy cohorts. Inspired by discussions with the students and the tumultuous political climate Irvine decided to explore the story of the suffragettes. Following the initial production Irvine joined up with Sally Homer and Zoe Simpson of Homer Simpson Productions who wanted to develop the show and explore how it could be engaged ‘to enthuse, inspire and inform young people about their voting rights’. The Edge Hill production was the first production of the latest draft of the musical, various iterations had been presented at Havering College, BEAM and two rehearsed readings in London. Homer and Simpson were very hands-on producers actively working with Irvine to develop the musical, however, there is no escaping the fact that this show is another example of a male writer telling women’s stories. Conscious of this I worked closely with my choreographer (Deborah Norris) to explore how we could apply feminist discources and frameworks to empower our female cast to reclaim the story finding their voices and disrupting the inherited patriachal norms of musical theatre form and structure. This paper will explore the journey of the production and the development of the show.

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28 Oct 2022 15:25
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21 Nov 2022 17:42