A series of free events are being held in Wiltshire libraries to mark the centenary of women being given the vote.
In Devizes and Malmesbury, Phoebe Kemp will be performing her single-woman play, May. The play is based on the true story of Rosa May Billinghurst, one of the women who fought for the vote.
Billinghurst was a pioneering disabled activist, who attended demonstrations in an adapted tricycle and was arrested several times and sent to prison on more than one occasion for her protests. In 1913, she chained herself to the railings of Buckingham Palace.
This brand-new show tells May’s story of love, loss and hope, and was developed in Wiltshire by Phoebe. Phoebe is a wheelchair user and some of the performance will be performed from her wheelchair. The performance is supported the Women’s Centenary Fund and delivered with Town Hall Arts in Trowbridge.
In Trowbridge, Salisbury and Chippenham, Lucy Whitfield will be holding a series of local history talks on women’s genealogy in each venue. The first talk in each venue will focus on Centenary Talks, the second will cover Vote 2018, and the final session will share individual stories. All events are free to enter.
John Thomson, cabinet member for libraries, said: “We’re delighted to be showcasing these performances and talks in Wiltshire to mark the centenary of some women receiving the right to vote.
“Our thanks go to Women’s Centenary Fund and Town Hall Arts in Trowbridge for enabling these events to be free for all to access, and I’d urge anyone with an interest in this ground-breaking time in history to attend one of the events.”
May performance venues, dates and times
- Devizes Community Hub & Library, Monday 19 February, 7.30pm
- Malmesbury Library, Monday 26 February, 6pm
Lucy Whitfield’s talks venues, dates and times
- Trowbridge Library, Friday 23 February and 2/9 March, 5.30pm
- Salisbury Library, Tuesday 6/13/20 March, 11.30am
- Chippenham Library, Thursday 8/15/22 March, 5.30pm