An All-Female Shakespeare v. Austen Smack-Down? What the Hecate?
Hecate Theatre Company
Ross Lowe | Saturday, April 4, 2015
No matter how big or small the pebble is, it still makes a ripple.
You just have to be daring enough to throw it in the pond in the first place.
Hecate Theatre have made a good many ripples with their work over the last few years and are back pondside for their latest piece Frogs, which hops into action at Bath's Rondo Theatre on the 8th of April.
Hecate are an all-female theatre company, spawned into being to both entertain and address the 2/1 gender bias in favour of men and male parts onstage while chipping away at the stigma that stories about women are only for women.
Since their inception, Hecate have successfully reinvented some of the finest works from classical and modern theatre including Gwen Cherrell's The Madam and Ovid's Metamorphoses to great critical acclaim. Such is the high regard in which Hecate are held that they have secured Arts Council funding following a successful application, a feat which co-producer Nicola Foxfield describes as "thrilling".
"The funding gives Hecate more scope in regards to what we can now achieve in the future, and adds real weight and validity to us and what we stand for" she adds. “We’re incredibly grateful – it gives us much more clout both financially and in terms of where we’re headed.”
In the here and now, the funding and recognition gives Hecate a real boost as they take Frogs out on a tour of England’s West Country following on from their 5-star rave reviews of the piece last year. The Arts Council funding adds real weight and validity to us and what we stand forJust as Hecate work together to both entertain and get their audiences questioning the validity of the gender divide in theatre, so Frogs encourages a questioning of the very value of art itself. Written by Charles Scherer, it’s an adaptation of a zany comedy by Aristophanes, described by Hecate themselves as ‘bonkers’. It’s a literary smack-down in a post-apocalyptic underworld to settle a divine score between the wordy might of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Dionysus, the Greek god of Drama. Delivered by Hecate’s all-female ensemble with the added bonus of a ‘quirky choral soundtrack’ it promises to be an energetic and enjoyable evening – and Frogs itself is an apt piece as much of the rehearsals have taken place aboard The Grain Barge, a boat-cum-bar-cum-music venue in Bristol Marina.
Hecate will take in Bath for two performances on the 8th and 9th of April before heading onto Stroud, Exeter and finally Bristol. With each performance it’s a fantastic opportunity for audiences to not only witness for themselves a hard-working and thoroughly talented all-female theatre company on the ascendancy, but to simply witness great live theatre.
Watch the ripple grow.
Hecate Theatre – Frogs – on tour throughout April 2015
8-9 April: Bath – Rondo Theatre
11 April: Stroud – Cotswold Playhouse
14 April: Exeter – Barnsfield Theatre
16 April: Bristol – Anglican Chapel in Arnos Vale
For more details about Hecate Theatre Company and their work, visit their website http://hecatetheatre.com/
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