PREVIEW: Whoop ‘n’ Wail Represents… The Launch

Laura Peatman’s fantastic preview for Whoop ‘n’ Wail Represents… The Launch.

Catch us tomorrow night (17th) or the 24th at Waterloo East Theatre!

The Play's The Thing

Alison Bechdel's original cartoon showing the rules of the test. Alison Bechdel’s original cartoon showing the rules of the test.

In November 2013 it was widely reported that some Swedish cinemas had introduced a rating system based on the Bechdel test: to gain an A rating, a film must contain two female characters who engage in a conversation that is not about a man. Few would dispute that the representation of women in film is not currently equal to that of men – it’s interesting to read that huge movies such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part IIAvatar, and, incredibly, all 10 hours of the Lord of the Rings trilogy fail spectacularly; yet it’s also open to criticism, with possible suggestions that it oversimplifies the situation or becomes too reductive to effectively address gender equality. Particularly startling is how long the idea has been around: it was first devised by Alison Bechdel  in the 1980s but certainly strikes a chord today…

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About Deborah Klayman

Deborah is an actress, musician, voice artist and writer based in the UK. She trained at the University of Northumbria, where she gained a 1st Class BA (Hons) in Performance, and at Drama Studio London (Postgraduate Diploma in Acting). Deborah has performed in the UK and overseas in a variety of roles which include Emilia in 'Othello' and Juliana Tesman in 'Hedda Gabler' in rep, Regan in 'King Lear', Mrs Pugh/Polly Garter in 'Under Milk Wood' and Fluellen/Alice in Henry V. An accomplished cellist and singer, the projects she undertakes frequently utilise her musical talents. Film and TV roles include: Geordie in a TV pilot for 'Dead Man's Cardy', Reporter in 'Mission London', Sarah in 'For Better or Worse', and Nurse Tremaine in 'Another Day. Deborah is also a successful voice artist, recording projects for companies such as M&C Saatchi/Silverfish Media, BP, Oxford University Press and The Scottish Sunday Express. Deborah is a talented writer, penning plays and screenplays primarily on issues surrounding social justice. Her first play, 'Janetarium', was one of three selected through the Traverse Theatre's Class Act project and was subsequently staged at the Traverse and published in Theatre Scotland Magazine. She later joined the theatre's Young Writers Group, and continued to write and devise plays throughout her university and drama school training. In 2005, she co-authored "Eve & Lilith" with Jessica Martenson which was produced at that year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2011, Deborah co-founded Whoop 'n' Wail Theatre Company with friend, collaborator and writing partner Ali Kemp. Their debut production, 'eXclusion', was produced in association with UK charity Women In Prison and toured to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London's Waterloo East Theatre, and Bracknell's South Hill Park Arts Centre. Their latest venture, "Whoop 'n' Wail Represents...", showcases new writing that puts gender equality centre stage, working with even numbers of female and male writers and directors to stage plays that pass the Bechdel Test. Deborah was one of the Traverse Theatre's 'Traverse Fifty' (a year-long writing attachment in 2013), and Whoop 'n' Wail's play 'My Bloody Laundrette' recently won the Cambridge University Press "Channel the Bard" competition. View all posts by Deborah Klayman

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