It’s been a funny old few months. TwoLasses are newly graduated (yaaay) and in a whrilwind of post university stresses, anxieties and general crises of adulthood. Here She Is (at TheatrePeckham) posed a refreshing, uplifting evening away from it all.
Here She Is was a female led showcase, with a very well curated, variety of dramatic performances. Performance and Poetry ran through, and talked about issues close to the performers hearts; religion, Grenfell Tower, sex and oppression, just to name a few.
The primairily female cast and crew was a sharp and sweet subversion of the typical gender imbalance in the theatre industry, which we are being made more and more aware of, one Stage article and gander-pay-gap report at a time. The cast and audience was also refreshingly diverse, a factor which brought a sense of real London community to the show. Perhaps this was aided by the space – bright and welcoming, light and airy. It gave the audience the chance to speak, discuss and praise the work they had seen; an activity I do not think happens enough in the theatre. Perhaps the best way to describe it would be to call it a mirror; reflecting how Londoners see London; those who have been born and raised in these communities, with real experience of the hardships brought on by processes of gentrification and inadequate distributions of government funding. But also those people who have banded together in support of each other, their business, enterprise and art in outright view of oppositions. Here, we saw Women support Women, and it was glorious.
Chair of Bashir Producations, Mimi Malaz Bashir led the event with an outstanding degree of professionalism, balancing performing and managing with ease. Every detail of the event was thought through, which just made the evening so enjoyable.
The audience responded to the show vocally which showed positive engagement; toe-ing the balance between formal theatre and how interactions may be in the future.
I particularly liked the collaborative ending; where all the acts came together on stage for a simple yet poignant ensemble piece, simply highlighting how important it is for Women to stand together to have their voice heard.
If I were to serioulsy critique the programme, I do feel like it could have been effective to add more multi-arts in there – some music, song, dance could have added another layer of depth to the evening.
However, I do believe that nights like these should be given more platform; it’s how the industry will move forward. If – let’s say – the Noel Coward invested one night a month to showcasing new and diverse talents the industry would be taking leaps and bounds in terms of investment into theatres future.
We wish Bashir Productions best of luck on thier upcoming #CreativeMovementDay to promote equality and diversity in the performing arts industry.