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Bold, Brave and Bolshy: Actresses, Theatre and Votes for Women

Actress, performer and researcher, Dr Naomi Paxton explores the importance of theatre, performance and propaganda in the campaign for Votes for Women.

In 1908, the Actresses' Franchise Pageants League was founded to support the suffrage movement. It staged suffrage events and readings, and its members wrote and produced plays in support of the cause. Eminent members included Cicely Hamilton, Ellen Terry, Elizabeth Robins, Edith Craig and Sybil Thorndike. By 1914 membership numbered 900 and there were groups in all major UK cities.

Dr Naomi Paxton has shared her passion for the work of the Actresses' Franchise League at many events, including the National Theatre, Hay Festival and Latitude Festival and was one of the AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers for 2014-15. She is the editor The Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays (2013).

Presented in partnership with Oxford Playhouse

This Festival of Freedoms event aligns with the Foundation of the NUWSS banner from ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition in Westminster Hall.


Book your free ticket via Ticket Office 01865 305 305 

Please note that the event will take place on the second floor of the Oxford Playhouse. We regret that there is no lift access.

If you have any questions, please contact

Find out about the Festival of Freedoms programme


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