By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston
Relocating around the obstacles of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable exhibits comparable to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist chances of new burlesque and stand-up, this booklet bargains a lucid and available account of renowned feminisms in modern theatre and function.
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Additional resources for A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
Membership is roughly 90 per cent women of retirement age and above. 2. Kate Youde (2010) quotes group bookings of theatre trips for London hen parties (booked through Hen Heaven) as having increased by a third over a three year period (2007–10). 3. Audience surveys regularly record that percentage wise women outnumber men as theatregoers, a gender gap that appears to be widening in recent years, which may partially be connected to the rise of the women’s show. For instance, Jill Trew’s report on ‘Tourism and the Performing Arts’ headlines ‘women dominat[ing] audiences’ (2001), while SOLT’s 2004 report on the ‘West End Theatre Audience’ also reveals that ‘three fifths’ of West End theatregoers are women: According to the survey, 65% (or three fifths) are female while 35% are male.
That said, previously I had seen a matinee performance at the Noel Coward on 27 May 2009, where the response was comparable, but the audience composition differed somewhat. The West End matinee audience confirmed Cassandra Jardine’s view of the audience as ‘largely grey-haired and mostly female’ (2009), particularly as the ‘grey-haired’ numbers were swelled by the arrival of a coach party of WI-ers. At The Lowry, women again made up the majority of the audience, but with a higher proportion in their forties and fifties.
The show climaxes with a pole-dancing event, put on by the women to raise money for a breast cancer charity. This is in support of one of the group, ‘Sarah’ (Pauline Fleming), who has already had a mastectomy and suffers a reoccurrence of this cancer during the course of the narrative. As confirmed by the Grand’s theatre manager Ellie Singleton, on the night I saw it out of the 460 available seats approximately 446 were occupied by [white] women. Many of us were probably ‘middle aged’ but there were numerous groups made up of at least three generations.