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Nourish, The Old Police Cells Museum, Brighton Town Hall, May 14
The chill of the Old Police Cells Museum perfectly captured the atmosphere of Nourish. Set in Holloway prison in 1913, the play told the story of Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of the famous suffragette leader Emmeline, who was jailed for three months after breaking a window during her fight for equality.
Written by Brighton-based Claire Burlington, Nourish follows the relationship between Sylvia and her wardress as she goes on hunger, thirst and sleep strike.
There were brilliant performances from both Davies Grey as Sylvia and Burlington herself as the wardress.
The pair created the perfect balance between the two characters, with neither one outshining the other.
Grey captured the quiet strength and determination of Sylvia without shying away from her feelings of anger and fear, and Burlington’s matter-of-fact approach to force feeding, which was employed by the authorities at the time, masked her guilt and confusion.
The small performance space in the Old Police Cells Museum reinforced the feeling of confinement and claustrophobia, and great attention to detail had been paid to everything from the costumes to the music.
Expertly directed by Ed Harris, it was hard to find fault with this eye-opening portrayal of a piece of our history.
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