Love or knowledge – which would YOU choose?
Jessica Swale’s first play, ‘Blue Stockings’, premiered to great acclaim at The Globe theatre in 2013 and depicts the battle that women fought to be permitted to graduate from Girton College, Cambridge. Set during a tumultuous academic year between 1896-97, the play follows feisty Tess Moffat and 3 of her fellow students as they join the vanguard of women’s education. Tess studies hard, dances the can-can, has her heart broken and passionately embraces education, but unlike her male counterparts she is denied a degree. The Girton Girls fight to become bachelors rather than spinsters, but the establishment will grant them nothing – save the title of an unmarriageable ‘blue stocking’. Tess outrages everyone as she publicly challenges the visiting Dr Maudsley’s proposition that ‘hysteria is the product of women’s lack of moral judgment’, and as the leading psychiatrist of the period, (after whom the hospital is named), Tess’s challenge is nothing short of scandalous. But worse still – she champions science against the arts and refuses to accept the choice between love and knowledge imposed by her teachers.
‘An intelligent, thought-provoking work’ Tim Walker, Daily Telegraph
Audience comments on Guildburys’ production
Magnificent. I was privileged to be there last night. The performance was excellent and beautifully presented by all !!!
Was at last night’s performance with a group of friends and we all thought it was a terrific show, very thought-provoking, well-acted and well staged. We agreed, too, that the scenery changes were fascinating!
Excellent job, congratulations to all on an excellent production.
Thought-provoked and emotionally stirred by tonight’s performance of Blue Stockings. Well done.
Really enjoyed it tonight – even if I did want to punch the men!
Great production tonight, super performances. I absolutely LOVED the scene changes. Not just for the clarient. They were so…graceful. It was a mini choreography treat between each scene. Just glorious.
Production photography Phill Griffith