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Blue Stockings 

by Jessica Swale

Directed by Ralf Togneri

Studio:      14 to 18 February 2023 @ 7:30

This is a joyous play.


It has humour, sadness, risque dancing and singing too!


It tells the story of four young women who arrive at Girton College in Cambridge in 1896 and the five young men, who arrived the year earlier at one of the men only colleges, that they meet.


There is first love; sadness; grief. There is fun; enjoyment; courage.


All this is set against a background of the struggle for women's education to be recognised by the University authorities by them awarding degrees to women.


If you were a young woman at university in the 1890s your college would be well away from the main men's colleges where the lectures were held. You would be mocked by both male students and lecturers. You would probably sit at the back of the lecture theatre expected to quiet and not ask questions and then worse, your written work would often be rejected or go unmarked because it was the work of a woman. Compare that with now.


The brave staff and teachers, many male, put their careers on the line to stand by their students at the women's colleges and eventually won the right to be taken as seriously as men.


In the wider world beyond the play it is the time of female suffrage with suffragists and suffragettes striving for the right for women to vote .


These young women had to fight against the prevailing attitudes, not only at universities, but throughout society that women's place was in the home!


They all appear in this gloriously crafted piece of theatre.


Come. Laugh. Love. Shed a tear. Honour their struggle. Cheer for their success.

Blue Stockings is now well and truly under way. Firstly I would like to thank everyone who came to the read through and even more thanks to everyone who auditioned.
I was overwhelmed by the number of Kelvin players who wanted to audition. And just to make it harder, what a wealth and depth of talent is out there.
The audition process was slightly protracted, mainly by the number of highly skilled actors who came forward. It was not an easy process casting. We now have a cast (see below). My commiserations to those who did not get a part. If you wish to stay engaged with the production there are so many ways to remain involved. Sets need to be built, costumes selected, hair to be styled, makeup to be applied, front of house to be staffed, bar to be run, props to be found and getting the word out to our audience. I would love to know that some if not all of you will be involved.
The play is set against the background of the fight for women to receive an education and for that education to be recognised by degrees being conferred. In the background there is the fight for female suffrage going on. There are entrenched attitudes to be challenged and over turned.
Rehearsals will start as soon as Earthquakes in London is over – you do have your tickets for that, don't you? With the Christmas Holidays in the coming weeks, serious work will need to be done from the beginning of January.
I hope all are up for the challenge of bringing this brilliant play to the stage at Kelvin. And come to see it with you friends in February when we perform it!!
Ralf Togneri

Cast In Order of Appearance:


Dr Maudsley - Jolyon Wolfin
Mrs Elizabeth Welsh - Sue Stobbs
Tess Moffat - Juliet O’Connor
Maeve Sullivan - Evie Stannard
Celia Willbond - Katie Kneen
Carolyn Addison - Sarah Lawrence
Mr Banks - Alex Heath
Edwards - Harry Wales
Lloyd - David Hill
Holmes - Rob Kershaw
Ralph Mayhew - John Baddeley
Miss Blake - Fiona McClure
Miss Bott - Mary McCallum
Will Bennett - Tom Foster
Minnie - Claire Hughes
Billy Sullivan - Ike Sherr
Mrs Lindley - Kate Ryan
Lady at Table - Helen Hollick
Husband at Table - Ralf Togneri
Professor Anderson - Mike Luckett
Professor Collins - Andy McBride-Coogan
Professor Radleigh - Mike Jessup
Librarian/Waiter/Mr Peck - Miguel Garcia

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