A Suffragette’s Song was performed in the beautiful setting of Hornsey Town Hall, the autumn production from the Crouch End Players written by one of their long standing members, Dominic McGrath. It told the story of music hall star and militant suffragette, Kitty Marion, a German-born performer who moved to the UK to pursue a career in theatre and, while making her name in the music halls, criticised the treatment of women in the theatre and eventually became involved in the cause of women’s suffrage: she attended marches, became involved in militant activism, was imprisoned and was force-fed over 200 times. Sadly she was expelled from Britain when World War I broke out and moved to America, where she handed out birth control pamphlets on the streets of New York and died in 1944.
The show tells the story of Kitty’s life, interspersed with humorous and sometimes tragic music hall classics, including a song about women riding bicycles, another about the new fashion for bathing dress, and several more, with plenty of good cheer and innuendo. Victoria Welsh as Kitty is very good, but the entire (all-female) chorus deserve praise for the various roles they take on and the songs they perform. The audience are invited to join in in some numbers, but it’s the suffragette anthem that really captures the attention.
This was a hugely enjoyable production from the Crouch End Players and I hope I manage to see another show by them in the future.