Not such a damsel in distress – Damsel/Wife/Witch at the Asylum


After launching in May, And So Forth (ASF) is premiering its inaugural show, Damsel/Wife/Witch, an interdisciplinary piece exploring issues of 21st Century gender expectation through fairy tale.

Performed by two actors, a singer and a pianist, Damsel/Wife/Witch was written by a close partnership of artists – a playwright, a librettist and a composer – and it exemplifies ASF’s focus on collaboration and mutual support.

Tapping into contemporary debate, Damsel/Wife/Witch explores the nuances of gender identity in a relationship put under pressure
when the fun and games between HIM and HER threaten to go too far.

The work’s composer is Lewis Murphy, recently appointed Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence and recent graduate of the Royal College of Music.

Playwright is Richard Walls, associate artist at Theatre Absolute and member of Birmingham REP Foundry. His play, Clubmartyr, won the Judge’s Award at Coventry Shoot Festival 2014.

Librettist and director is Laura Attridge, who most recently premiered a site-specific song-cycle for the National Gallery and directed an international tour of La Boheme (Opera Loki).

Says ASF artistic director Laura Attridge: “This piece encapsulates everything at the heart of And So Forth, both in terms of creative process and subject matter.

“Exploring female and male roles in traditional fairy tales allowed us to tackle the ongoing debate surrounding gender expectations in the 21st Century in a fresh and unique way.

“We hope that Damsel/Wife/Witch will unsettle, challenge and question the deep-rooted narratives we are told on a daily basis about what it means to be a man or a woman.”

Damsel/Wife/Witch runs at the atmospheric Asylum Chapel, Peckham, in London from September 15-18.

Leave a Reply