Performed by Great Hall Theatre Company, June 2012. Play by Joanna Murray-Smith. Directed by Rebecca Wass. Performed at The Assembly Rooms, Noverre Suite, Norwich.
The Female of the Species is a comic play by Joanna Murray-Smith first performed in 2006. The play is a satire about celebrity feminists, with a plot loosely inspired by a real-life incident in 2000, when author Germaine Greer was held at gunpoint in her own home by a disturbed student.
Margot Mason is a feminist writer suffering from writer’s block; she can not meet the deadlines for her next book. Molly Rivers, a deranged former student of Margot’s, arrives unexpectedly at her country home with a gun and handcuffs Mason to her desk. Molly blames Margot for warping her mother’s mind with her hit book The Cerebral Vagina. Following Margot’s advice, Molly’s mother gave Molly away as a baby so that she wouldn’t be enslaved by motherhood and then killed herself. Molly has had herself sterilized to preserve her creativity, only to be told by Margot that she has no talent.
Margot’s daughter Tess arrives, exhausted from her house full of children. Margot has accused Tess of throwing her life away to embrace the role of housewife. Tess agrees that her mother should be shot. Tess’s sensitive stockbroker husband, Bryan also arrives to debate the virtues of Margot’s best-sellers, her inconsistent philosophy, and her inability to “mother”. Even a macho taxi driver (Frank) and her flamboyantly gay publisher (Theo) comment on Margot’s feminist failings.
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