So much laughter at last night’s post-show Q&A for Katy Brand’s debut play 3Women! Brand’s 80-minute comedy-drama explores what it means to be a woman in the 21st century and the consequences of the generational gap on attitudes, cultural expectations and family dynamics.
It’s set in a luxury hotel room, where Eleanor (Anita Dobson), her daughter Suzanne (Debbie Chazen) and granddaughter Laurie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) gather for a night of female family bonding (revelations and recriminations) on the eve of 40-year-old Suzanne’s wedding. And a young waiter (played by Oliver Greenall) delivers much more than the standard room service.
Why did award-winning comedian, sketch writer, actor and novelist want to write for the stage? What does “omnibiographical” mean? Or how about “misterogyny”? Are we all intrinsically feminist now? How should young feminists respond to older women who aren’t supportive? What can a male director bring to a female-led story? Is the 3Women playtext being published? (Short answer: yes, today! Care of Samuel French.) Has Katy Brand now got the playwriting bug?
Those were just some of the questions raised during a fabulous, feminist, fun and feelgood discussion… in between myriad gales of laughter. One of the key themes I took from Katy’s play centred on inter-generational views of happiness, and whether or not we’re all entitled to it as women. Takeaway wish: You shouldn’t have to be brave to be happy. Or, as the granddaughter character Laurie in 3Women puts it:
“It shouldn’t be an act of courage to have a life that you want. It should be normal. It should be easy.”
Inspired by that, I ended the discussion by asking Katy Brand and the cast, as well as Stage Traffic director Michael Yale and producer Eilene Davidson: what makes you happy? Some really wonderful responses (cue: more laughter too). Watch the Q&A livestream below for the answers. As for me, I’ll be extremely happy if 3Women is a big hit for all concerned – and if you see it please and spread the word.
Event photography by Peter Jones.