“You have to make more noise than anybody else,
You have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else,
You have to fill all the papers more than anybody else,
In fact, you have to see that they do not snow you under”
– Emmeline Pankhurst
When Dan and I took our 11 year old daughter to the lantern parade down Park Street to mark the centenary of Women’s right to vote, it was fabulous to see so many people of all ages and gender united in the same spirit of celebration. At one point though the parade was confronted with a counter march of young people shouting back that the vote was given to white and rich women only and that it completely cast aside less fortunate ones and minorities.
This made me think that although the Representation of the People Act 1918 was a tremendous start, the work is far from over to make sure that women in this country but all over the world are free to be who they want to be, love who they want and have an overall control of their lives and bodies.
The Make More Noise’s cast of strong young women echoes this state of affairs through the medium of dance, story sharing, satire and personal portraits of inspirational females throughout history including Frida Khalo, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth 1, Jamaican nurse Marie Seacole and American birth control activist Margaret Sanger, all the way to people involved in the current #MeToo movement especially Uma Thurman. The actors also celebrate role models amongst their close friends and relatives.
Looking around the audience, I was glad to see faces from all ages and gender and we all shared many laughs and sighs of despair throughout this energetic and touching show by an all female cast calling out on sexist conventions, body image issues, societal pressure and backward stereotypes that many of us in the audience have experienced. Make More Noise reminds us that we’re still a long way away from equality and that far from the comfortable velvet seats of the Old Vic, many females are going through much worse plight than us. We all have a role to play to pass the message and make sure it spreads across generations and continents.
Today is your last chance to book tickets to the matinee or the evening show here. Photos by Jana Rumley.