In June 1913 fifteen women set out from Lands End to walk to Hyde park in support of the suffrage movement and to campaign and raise awareness of child poverty, the white slave trade and to put an end to sweated labour. That was one hundred years ago this year and to celebrate the centenary a new company, Dreadnought South West, are touring a new play Oxygen by Natalie McGrath which will follow the original route and play at theatres along the way.
Playing many different spaces Oxygen will, quite literally, take you on a journey and make you think about what those fifteen women, who became thousands by the time they reached London, did for us and what that means for women today.
In 2008 Natalie saw an old sepia photograph of women and children holding a banner saying ”National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies – Land’s End to London’. She wanted to know more and as she researched she realised this was a bit of history that hadn’t been fully documented, so she decided to give them a voice.
It seems fitting that these women will be honoured a hundred years on and that families of the original fifteen will be able to watch the performance that their female relations inspired. On the image above it shows all the stopping points and I urge all you people reading this, not only in Cornwall but along the route, to save the date of your local showing.