The Womxn Up? podcast is Workie Ticket Theatre’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic which highlights North-East women’s stories through a series of audio plays and real-life interviews.
Within this project, we explore the impact the pandemic has had on women at home, work, in the community, on our mental health and on our bodies. Workie Ticket Theatre is proud to present three, brand-new audio response plays all inspired by our research which are written, performed, directed and produced by women from the North East.
Womxn Up? has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The podcasts are presented by Sarah Hughes, produced by Workie Ticket and edited by Studio26.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that some of the content may be triggering.
Episode 1: Women in the Time of Corona
Out on 26th November
Find out more about the Womxn Up? Project from the producers as Sarah Hughes interviews founder of Workie Ticket Theatre CIC, JoJo Kirtley & Co-Artistic Director, Lindsay Nicholson and asks what inspired them to create a project about the impact of the pandemic on North-East Women.
Presented by Sarah Hughes
Episode 2: Above My Pay Grade
Written and Performed by Sarah Hughes
Directed by Corinne Kilvington
Michelle loves her job helping young people in the care system and prides herself on helping them feel less alone in the World. But, when the Coronavirus crisis enforces periods of isolation, she finds it hard to watch them struggle. So, when she’s invited along to an online workplace “Well-being” Event to talk about her experience working in social care; she pulls no punches.
Episode 3: The Mothering Kind
Written by Olivia Hannah
Performed by Rachel Brownstein
Directed by Corinne Kilvington
Pre-pandemic Chrissy and Pete were happily child-free, spending their time and money on travel and new experiences. All that was swept away by Covid, and in its place came caring responsibilities for their nephew. Now, in the aftermath, Chrissy finds herself changed and looking for a new way to make life meaningful.
Episode 4: More Hugs for Nana Hinny
Written by JoJo Kirtley
Performed by Jacqueline Phillips
Directed by Charlotte Ryder
Nana Hinny loves hugs, singing at her local ‘Singing for the Brain’ group and drinking decent whiskey. She misses her beloved Stan but is content with her life; watching the birds from her bungalow which overlooks Killy Lake…until the global pandemic changes everything and she suddenly finds her voice.
Real-life Interviews will be released in early 2022 which include:
We are so honoured to have interviewed these wonderful women.
Lesley Henderson - founder & CEO of Toby Henderson Trust
Lexie O’Connor - young woman who was living on her own during lockdown.
Amnett Graham - ex- Service User Chair Newcastle Upon Tyne Maternity Voice Partnership
Elaine Langshaw - Service Director of Newcastle Women’s Aid
Sex workers from the North East & Bright Future keyworkers
Josephine Mudzingwa Siziba -Community Leader & Black Lives Matter Activist
Rachel Bakhsh -North East Against Racism Activist
"Bike, Dyke or Frigid?"
A bold new piece of theatre exploring the untold stories of female veterans
directed by Rosa Stourac McCreery.
Women Warriors has been devised by engaging female veterans through forum theatre and discussion-based workshops. Our aim is to contribute to their empowerment whilst creating a dialogue about how to support veteran rehabilitation through creative methods. In her ground-breaking work on gender and the military, Cynthia Enloe asked in 1989; “Where are the women?” ‘Women Warriors’ responds by centering the lived experiences of female veterans, women who are often socially isolated, overlooked and suffering from lack of support. Our project aims is to raise awareness of the challenges female veterans face in society such as prejudice, discrimination, abuse and PTSD but also celebrate female veterans. Within a safe space, we have facilitated issue-based and forum theatre workshops to develop a series of short plays with five writers. We presented a rehearsed reading of our piece in July as part of our R&D in the build up to producing the first full production of ‘Women Warriors’ at The Exchange Arts Venue, North Shields on 9th October 2019.
HEAR HER ROAR
Our current project HEAR HER ROAR aims to create brave and bold new-writing plays that capture women’s untold stories. All produced, written and directed by women. We also deliver issue-based workshops, in the community to highlight the themes of the plays to give voices to marginalised groups such as domestic violence survivors.
Background to Hear Her Roar
The HEAR HER ROAR project highlights Tyneside women’s real stories and raises awareness of women’s issues such as domestic violence, working mothers, abortion, sexual assault and sexuality. HEAR HER ROAR was our first major project, which celebrated the talents of North East women, collaborated with community groups and charities such as Newcastle Women’s Aid and promoted equality within the theatre industry.
HEAR HER ROAR was successfully launched above the Bridge Hotel Pub in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, on 10th November 2017 as a night of script-in-hand performance of new short plays to give a flavour of our work and to highlight the specific themes. We sold out. We developed a network of creatives and we were featured in The Guardian’s Readers’ Favourite theatre of 2017; “Hear Her Roar had passion, heartache, love and solidarity.”
In January 2018, we received funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Catherine Cookson Trust, respectfully to deliver our February to September educational programme which included a full-scale theatre performance of our plays for International Women’s Day at The Exchange in North Shields, on 10th March 2018 and was part of celebrating 100 years of Women’s suffrage. Rebecca Gregson in NARC magazine wrote: “It’s clear that Hear Her Roar is an important and unquestionable success.”
We also collaborated with the Red Box Project to collect sanitary products for local schools and collected for Newcastle Women’s Aid. In total, we have raised over £1300 for Newcastle Women’s Aid.
Workshops for Hear Her Roar
As part of the HEAR HER ROAR project, Workie Ticket are continuing to deliver issue-based workshops in the local community to at-risk groups, which are linked to our plays, in a bid to educate and raise awareness.
Our workshops are two-hour sessions and consist of interactive drama, writing and discussion-based activities to engage groups with the themes of the plays. For example, we have developed a Body Image workshop called “Love Yourself” which was firstly, delivered to a group of women who are survivors of domestic abuse at Newcastle Women’s Aid. Feedback included: “It made me feel empowered", “Being together with other women, made me feel included and safe”, and “I felt like someone was finally listening to me.”
We are also working delivering sessions to Women’s charity, Bright Futures and Launchpad Charity for Mental Health Awareness week.