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Director Luke Davies gives the background story to this verbatim play about two revolutionary sisters: Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth
The sisters were socialists, suffragists, and were queer activists. Born in the second half of the nineteenth century in Ireland, both were famous during their lifetimes: Constance, for taking up arms in the Easter Rising 1916, for being the first female MP (though she didn't take her seat) and for spending a good portion of her life in and out of prison; Eva, for defending the rights of working women (on one occasion causing Winston Churchill to lose his seat after campaigning against his stance on bar maids' working rights), and for writing and editing a queer, feminist magazine with her life partner, Esther Roper.
Director, Luke Davies explains that one of the main reasons Urania (the company behind Constance and Eva) chose this subject was the realisation that very few people, especially outside of Ireland, seemed to be aware of the existence of these two sisters. “It felt like a major injustice that such significant figures could be allowed to fade into obscurity - with Constance being reduced to a footnote in the commemorations held last year to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.”
The company believe that in the current climate they really need to tell this story of these sisters' lives because they are especially important. “Constance and Eva were unafraid of fusing identity politics with a wider, emancipatory agenda - and of imagining political objectives on a scale that today seems far beyond the limits of the possible” says Davies. “We feel that a huge amount can be learnt today from this model of idealism and determination that between them they represent.”
Constance and Eva, directed by Luke Davies, is on at the Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham from the 17 - 27 September. Presented by Urania Theatre Company in association with Bread & Roses
Tickets and further details here