WITH the General Election having just passed and with debate over gender equality within Scottish theatre abounding it seems apt that the women of Edinburgh People’s Theatre should remind us about the sacrifices the Suffrage movement made in the early part of the 20th century to secure women’s voting rights.
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Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road
Set in a New Town ‘Seamstress to Gentry’ shop, we follow five women from all different walks of life, as both the Suffrage movement and impending First World War are about to come to a head. Yet behind the veneer of this innocent-looking business, not all is at it ‘seams’. For while some believe in non-violent protest, others are planning sabotage - all in the name of the cause.
Mags Swan delivers a riveting performance as abused, working-class housewife, Maime. Kirsty Boyle does equally well as the religious, torn-between-right-and-wrong maid, Morag, and Lynn Cameron adds a nice touch of aristocratic upper-crust as rebellious socialite, Mrs. Sinclair-Munro.
Niloo-Far Khan, meanwhile, rises to the occasion as young guerilla activist, Annie, and Anne Mackenzie pins the whole thing together as store-owner Jeanie - the consciousness of the Suffragettes, and through whose eyes we see everything unfold.
The costumes are also spot-on - the Wardrobe team clearly have some expert seamstresses of their own - and the stage-set is one of the best EPT have assembled. Seeing extras rearrange the furniture to the phonographic sounds of the era is a nice touch, too.
Written and directed by Irene Beaver, you can’t help feel A Guid Cause would work even better as a series of individual monologues. Nevertheless, A Guid Cause remains A Guid Story.
Run ends Saturday