A theatre director has spoken of her disbelief that the BBC approved the name Snatches for her new TV series.
Vicky Featherstone, the Royal Court Theatre’s artistic director, has curated eight monologues for BBC Four to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.
On the word Snatches – which can be a derogatory term for a vagina – she told the Radio Times magazine: “It’s reclaiming the word, isn’t it?”
She said BBC Four “were rather amused by it”.
“It was my first idea, and I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to let it happen,'” she said.
But it was allowed and Featherstone says it “fits very well”.
“Our monologues are literally snatches of women’s lives but a lot of those stories are about people and issues that aren’t really known, so we’re reclaiming the history and we’re reclaiming the word,” she told the magazine.
The eight short 15-minute episodes, directed by Vanessa Caswill and Rachna Suri, have been penned by writers including Abi Morgan and Tanika Gupta.
Atonement actress Romola Garai, Downton Abbey star Siobhan Finneran and Three Girls actress Liv Hill are among the stars involved.
One of the monologues is based on rape within marriage, while another is about an actress’s experience meeting a producer.
The series, which will air this summer as part of the broadcaster’s Hear Her season, marks the centenary of women over the age of 30, and who owned property, being able to vote in the UK.
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Featherstone said working on the series had been a wake-up call in terms of gender equality.
“I’m an incredibly optimistic person,” she said.
“But I think the shock, for all of us who worked on Snatches, is that things maybe haven’t changed as much for women as we thought they had.
“Snatches shows how things can shift. We just have to make sure they don’t shift backwards.”
@GaryBarlow I was appalled to see plastic confetti littering the Eden project after your last gig there. What on earth was a plastic confetti canon doing there? In a place such as the Eden who are working so hard at getting rid of SU plastics
Apologies to @edenproject for firing our confetti cannons. I hope this doesn’t mean we won’t be asked back? We’ve cancelled all ticker tape at outdoor shows because the reality is, beyond the effect it just turns into litter 👎
Most of it prob got collected by your fans! There will be ‘ell up’ if you don’t get asked back! Ticker tape is a lovely memory of the concert for fans! This is what I did with what we collected for Zach’s memory frame! pic.twitter.com/1RNzJLcvkl
When Mamma Mia! found itself without a leading lady following a leg injury during the first scene last Thursday, it looked like the show would have to be cancelled.
Especially because, wouldn’t you know it, both understudies had fallen ill.
But never fear – help was (literally) just around the corner.
Mamma Mia’s general manager had remembered that one of the show’s previous stars – Steph Parry – was currently working as an understudy in 42nd Street, which was playing just down the road.
He called Steph, to ask whether she could step in, and within just 18 minutes of Mamma Mia! being halted, she was on the stage playing Donna – the role made famous in the film of the same name by Meryl Streep.
As a stand-in for two of 42nd Street’s leading roles, she was sitting in the dressing room at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane when she got the call.
The theatre is a hop and a skip from the Novello Theatre, the home of Mamma Mia!
“The general manager told the audience: ‘I’m really sorry, unfortunately Caroline has injured herself and is unable to carry on in the show and we have no understudy – however, we do have a lovely lady who will be carrying on for her shortly,'” Steph explains.
“At the time, I didn’t know [the audience announcement] was going to happen. It meant they were totally on my side and any nerves just went. They were willing me on.”
But how on earth did she remember it all – the steps, the blocking (where to move) and the songs? (Although to be fair, we could probably all manage the latter – this is Abba we’re talking about).
“Last time I played the role I was on a cruise ship and it was the US version of Mamma Mia – the blocking and choreography are different, even the script is slightly different,” says Steph.
“I didn’t have time to worry, I just needed a wee! I remember sitting on the loo thinking about the lines for the next scene. After that I had no need to think, I just had to trust that it was somewhere in the back of mind. It was worse, the more I thought about!”