Two contrasting one-woman shows opening at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre’s Mill Studio this week give an insight into the history of female attitudes and women’s roles in society.
Comedy combines with musical gems as Pippa Winslow takes to the stage in Just a Housewife, today (Friday) and tomorrow.
Just a Housewife playfully explores the challenges of balancing life as an actress, wife and mother.
With music by Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kander and Ebb, Jerry Herman and more, Just a Housewife answers questions such as ‘if I’m the one that calls in the order for pizza, do I get credit for making dinner?’ and ‘they say that housework never killed anyone, but why take the chance?’
Featuring songs such as Just a Housewife, I Want It All and The Laziest Gal In Town, the evening promises a quick how-to guide to having it all, tackling important issues such as ‘I wanted to change the world, but I couldn’t find a babysitter…’
This semi-autobiographical cabaret is performed by actress and singer Winslow, joined by Andrew Hopkins at the piano and directed by Evan Ensign.
Guildford audiences will recall Winslow’s previous performances at the Yvonne Arnaud, which include playing the roles of Mrs Medlock in The Secret Garden in October, Phyllis in Follies last summer and Desiree in A Little Night Music.
Winslow returns to Guildford after recently enjoying West End runs of Strangers on a Train at the Gielgud Theatre and Other Desert Cities at the Old Vic.
“Just A Housewife is a theatrical opportunity for me to have a chat with you about my life as a housewife and actress as though I am in your kitchen or sitting room and the cosy intimacy of the Mill has that perfect ambiance,” said the performer.
Regarding the musical elements of the show, she added: “Every song in the show hits an emotional chord with me – some funny, some deeply personal.
“They each explore an aspect of what makes me tick; either with the playful lyrics in a light Cole Porter tune, the simple vulnerability of the songs of Stephen Sondheim or the grand emotional sweep of the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber or Jerry Herman.”
Anyone who has ever been or ever known a wife or mother will enjoy this look at trying to accommodate kids and a career without losing your temper – or your mind.
The tone changes dramatically with Sufragette, on Thursday and Friday, June 12 and 13.
This one-woman show portrays what was a politically and socially difficult climate.
Suffragette highlights and celebrates the remarkable achievements made by the brave women who dared to challenge the political and social order of the day.
Beautifully incorporating a strong musical element, Suffragette recounts the long struggle for women to secure the vote in vivid and dramatic detail.
Key historical moments and a multitude of important, prominent characters are brought brilliantly to life by actress Anna Loveday in the premiere of a play by award-winning playwright Geoff Lawson.
Powerhouse Theatre Company was set up in 2007 by writer and director Lawson. With over 30 years’ experience of working in theatre, television and film as an actor, director, producer and writer, a long-held ambition to establish a company producing high quality work across a wide age range was finally realised.
Mr Lawson said: “We aim to appeal to a wide audience and are also keen to reach audiences who have little or no experience of theatre.
“Our mission is to give our audience an experience which will hopefully serve to make them want to come back for more! The play will appeal to anyone with an interest in this fascinating period of history and would also be suitable for schools history and drama departments.”
In turns, exciting, moving and funny, the telling of a courageous story is further enhanced by live music, with a superb piano and brass ensemble. Tickets for Just a Housewife and Suffragette are on sale from the Yvonne Arnaud box office on 01483 440000 or online at www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.