The independent London newspaper

Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: 15 Heroines; Reach for the Stars; Bartholomew Abominations; CripTales

12 November, 2020 — By Lucy Popescu

Nicholle Cherrie in 15 Heroines. Photo: Shonay Shote

INSPIRED by Ovid, a stunning line-up of British playwrights have dramatised the lives of 15 Heroines. This online production, in partnership with Digital Theatre, is filmed live in Jermyn Street’s empty theatre and delivered by an outstanding cast in three parts. The War tells the untold stories of the Trojan War: Oenone, Hermione, Laodamia, Briseis and Penelope, written by Lettie Precious, Sabrina Mahfouz, Charlotte Jones, Abi Zakarian and Hannah Khalil. The Desert is about women going their own way: Deianaria, Canace, Hypermestra, Dido and Sappho, written by April De Angelis, Isley Lynn, Chinonyerem Odimba, Stella Duffy and Lorna French. The Labyrinth focuses on the women who encountered Jason and Theseus: Ariadne, Phaedra, Phyllis, Hypsipyle and Medea, written by Bryony Lavery, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Samantha Ellis, Natalie Haynes and Juliet Gilkes Romero. Until November 14 Visit:

Little Angel Theatre is presenting their latest show Reach for the Stars via Zoom. Rocket into space with Nat as she overcomes her fears and strives to achieve her greatest ambition – to fly. Told through dazzling puppetry and inspired by the life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to go into space, this heart-warming story encourages us all to strive for our goals. Reach for the Stars played live to socially distanced audiences at the Angel Studios during October half term, but following the government’s lockdown announcement, the show has moved online. Audience members will be greeted by one of the show’s talented performers, watch a recorded version of the show, and take part in games and activities. Shows are at 11am and 2pm, various dates until December 6. Ages 7-11, £13.50 per household. Visit:

• This November is the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, one of the most significant civil rights landmarks in our history, criminalising discrimination against disabled people in many areas of life. The BBC is celebrating the act with several programmes. These include Bartholomew Abominations, the latest collaboration between Naked Productions and Graeae Theatre, placing deaf and disabled artists centre stage. This radical reinvention of Ben Johnson’s classic drama for 21st century audiences is billed as a vibrant, biting political commentary about modern British identity. Paul Sirett’s radio drama reflects on the disability discrimination and English nationalism of the early 21st century. The story is set in 2032, at an annual event where suitors must find the “perfect” partner or face deportation. Recorded remotely, Bartholomew Abominations has an exceptional cast of disabled and non-disabled actors and is available on BBC sounds until the end of November. Visit:

Also available on BBC iPlayer is CripTales. A life-changing moment is captured in six powerful 15-minute monologues. Written, directed and performed by disabled people and curated by Mat Fraser.


Share this story

Post a comment