Women in Lockdown highlights experiences of and impact on women during this time.
Saturday 14th 2020 will see the release of a short film, Women in Lockdown, on Women & Theatre’s You Tube channel. This unique film explores the lives of women across Birmingham and the Black Country during lockdown, covering the period from early March to 30th June 2020.
Women in Lockdown features an ensemble community cast of local women and combines varied footage from Zoom sessions, mobile phones and some socially-distanced filmed sequences, accompanied by an engaging score of commissioned new music. Developed from research with women of different ages and cultural backgrounds, including disabled and D/deaf women, this ambitious project captures the experiences of real women living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a unique moment in history and we feel it’s important that the lives of ordinary women are shared and represented. Women & Theatre remain committed as always to making deep work about things that matter” said Janice Connolly BEM, W&T’s Artistic Director.
A participant in the film added, “Women in Lockdown took me out of my comfort zone, I tried things I never thought I would do. The project gave me a great break away from family stress and work. I found it so relaxing and it gave me a sense of belonging.”
This project began in May with Janice Connolly interviewing over 35 women on Zoom as part of the research for the project. This has been followed by phases of writing, devising, music composition, some socially distanced filming, as well as numerous rehearsals and recording sessions over Zoom.
The Women in Lockdown artistic team includes W&T’s Janice Connolly and Jo Gleave, composer Nicola McAteer, filmmaker Sima Gonsai and D/deaf creative practitioner Maral Mamaghani. The film is performed by a community cast of over forty women; for many it is their first performance piece.
Despite the lockdown closing theatres, W&T have continued to make work by adapting their pioneering approach to theatre making for digital platforms; continuing to engage with audiences and participants. Women & Theatre is a charity that received a grant from Arts Council England’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund, which enabled them to develop this new piece of work.
The film premieres on Women & Theatre’s YouTube Channel on Saturday 14th November at 7.30pm and is free to watch. It is fully captioned and is accessible to D/deaf audiences.
There will also be a Facebook Watch Party beginning with an introduction with members of the creative team beginning at 7pm. After the film they will be back on Facebook for a post-show discussion.