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The Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays

The Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays is an anthology of eight exciting pieces written for and by members of the Actresses Franchise League from 1909-13. Immediately playable, they offer strong, varied roles for female casts, while also providing invaluable source material to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Featuring 'How The Vote Was Won' which remains one of the most popular and well known suffrage plays, the volume also includes seven shorter works: 'Lady Geraldine's Speech' (1909), a fantastic, fun piece for actresses. Lady Geraldine hasn't thought through the Suffrage cause and, on a visit to an old school friend meets some charismatic, successful and intelligent women who soon enlighten and encourage her on to the right path! 'Pot and Kettle' (1909), a comic piece in which a young woman returns to her family in great distress having assaulted a suffragette who was sitting near her at a Anti-Suffragist meeting. 'Miss Appleyard's Awakening' about an anti-suffrage campaigner who finds herself in the home of a sympathizer but ends up inadvertently drawing her hostesses' attention to the contradictions in her arguments 'Her Vote' by the actor and playwright Henry Esmond which provides an interesting male viewpoint on the movement, criticizing the young suffragist for wanting to be part of a movement about which she seems to understand little. 'The Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side', a charming, clever monologue about a sheltered young woman who finds herself increasingly involved with her local Anti-Suffrage society and increasingly puzzled by what she learns there. 'The Mother's Meeting', an entertaining monologue that uses a working class character to expose the inconsistencies in the Anti-Suffrage arguments. 'Tradition' was first performed at a matinee for the Woman Suffrage Party held at the Berkeley Theatre in New York City on Saturday 24 January 1913. The plays featured articulate the arguments of the Suffrage Movement through a variety of styles, both comic and serious, and perfectly illustrate the use of drama as a medium for social change and entertainment. Together with illustrations and an introduction charting the history of the Actresses Franchise League and exploring the context and provenance of the plays, this is an excellent resource for both study and performance.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction How the Vote Was Won by Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St John Lady Geraldine's Speech by Beatrice Harraden Pot and Kettle by Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St John Miss Appleyard's Awakening by Evelyn Glover Her Vote by H. V. Esmond The Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side by H. M. Paull The Mother's Meeting by Mrs. Harlow Phibbs Tradition by George Middleton Recommended Reading

Promotional Information

This anthology presents eight exciting comic pieces that arose from the the Suffrage Movement. Terrific for performance, it provides a variety of strong female parts, while also offering invaluable sources from the period, bringing history to life.

About the Author

Naomi Paxton is an actress, writer and researcher. She trained at Goldsmiths College, University of London and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and has performed professionally in the West End and on tour in the UK and internationally. She is currently a PhD student in the Drama Department of the University of Manchester, UK.


The book is a testament to the talent, tenacity and passion of those women artists who so ardently pushed the Votes for Women agenda. -- Kate Kerrow * For Books' Sake * A fine collection of eight plays of different genres created by members of the Actresses Franchise League (1909-1913), which are clever and often very comic. These unjustly neglected plays recall the passion and bravery of that remarkable political struggle. * The Lady *

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