The Orchard

So what happens when two opposing political forces meet?  Not on a battlefield.  Not in Parliament.  Privately.  Out of necessity.  Out of curiosity.  In an unnamed orchard.  For no one else to see.

In The Orchard, Dreadnought returns to some familiar territory with the women’s suffrage campaign; all that this represented one hundred years ago and what it might tell us today.   Digging deep into the personal and political divisions of its two key leaders, Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett.

This is an imagined meeting, although we are pretty sure that these two women did meet.  Under what circumstances, we do not know.  Somewhere, we don’t want to know so we can imagine what this could have been like.  What might they have had to say to one another during 1913; a period of heightened revolution on both sides, revolution that adopted different means and strategies.  Most interesting to ask is why would they meet at all?

We don’t often hear these voices.  We don’t often witness two female political leaders speaking to one another.  With an election year fast approaching it became clear to us during our first development days that we rarely, if ever see two women political leaders in the public eye together.  Debating and considering their political voices, positions, oppositions.  This is at the heart of The Orchard.  

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Ruth Mitchell 


Michelle Ridings

Photographs taken by Belinda Dillon