(The background to this project is in March of Women Part 1.)
March of Women has been and gone and it was a great day! The start wasn’t promising because the rain was pouring down when I arrived at Glasgow Women’s Library for the final rehearsals at 11am, but by the time we all spilled out into the streets at 2pm it had cleared and it stayed dry until we finished.
There were three parts to the event:
1. The pageant
In Cicely Hamilton’s 1909 Pageant of Great Women, Woman appeals to Justice for freedom and Prejudice gives reasons why she is not worthy (not clever enough, not brave enough – you get the picture). Three wonderful paid actors played these parts – Lesley Hart (Prejudice), Lucianne McEvoy (Justice) and Patricia Panther (Woman).
Woman makes her case by calling on significant women from history. In our version, Cicely Hamilton’s women had non-speaking parts and we wrote our own parts using mainly, but not exclusively, Scottish women. These are just a few – aren’t we all splendid? I was proud to represent Isabella Elder, and highlighted her contribution to allowing Scottish women access to higher education at the end of the 19th century.
2. The March
After the verdict (and it probably isn’t a spoiler to tell you that Woman wins her case) we formed a procession and marched to Glasgow Green where we were welcomed by SheBoom (a local women’s drumming troop).
3. The Event on the Green
This was the only part of the day in which I felt out of my comfort zone! Because I turned up to a particular rehearsal, I got roped into the choreographed event at the end of the March, on the old drying greens at Glasgow Green. The washing poles are still there – cue many jokes about pole dancing. My partner and I went slightly wrong at the end, but we survived. Then we had our photos taken in our groups, and it was over. I think we all felt elated that it went so well, but sad that we wouldn’t be doing it again. Still, there’s always the film to come…
All photos by John Marsh, who got himself a great seat right at the front. Thanks, John!