Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sheila Hancock at the Bristol Festival of Ideas

Our friends at the Bristol Festival of Ideas have a talk with Sheila Hancock tomorrow.

It’s not to be missed!

Book tickets

Here’s the details of Sheila Hancock’s new book, Miss Carter’s War:

It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge.

Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission – to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.

Through deep friendships and love lost and found, from the peace marches of the fifties and the flowering of the Swinging Sixties, to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights, to the spectre of a new war, Sheila Hancock has created a powerful, panoramic portrait of Britain through the life of one very singular woman. She talks about her new novel and her career as a writer.

Book tickets


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Jacqueline Rose at the Festival of Ideas

We’ve been big fans of Jacqueline Rose here at the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival ever since reading her classic book The Haunting of Sylvia Plath. So we’re really excited to learn she’s speaking at the Bristol Festival of Ideas this week!

Here’s the lowdown…

Jacqueline Rose: Women in Dark Times, 18.30-19.30, Foyles, Cabot Circus, £4

Jacqueline Rose’s new book begins with three remarkable women: revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg; German–Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon, persecuted by family tragedy and Nazism; film icon and consummate performer Marilyn Monroe.

Together these women have a shared story to tell, as they blaze a trail across some of the most dramatic events of the last century – revolution, totalitarianism, the American dream. Enraged by injustice, they are each in touch with what is most painful about being human, bound together by their willingness to bring the unspeakable to light.

Taking the argument into the present are today’s women, courageous individuals involved in some of the cruellest realities of our times. Grappling with the reality of honour killing – notably through the stories of Shafilea Ahmed, Fadime Sahindal and Heshu Yones – Rose argues that the work of feminism is far from done. Women in Dark Times shows us how these visionary women offer a new template for feminism.

 ‘This is the book we have been waiting for – a clarion call for us all, men and women, to be bolder and brasher in our advocacy for change but also more willing to embrace our own contradictions’ Helena Kennedy, QC

‘Rose confronts dark times with dark and moving stories from the last century inspiring a new feminism for this one. By so doing she keeps alive the dreams of so many women from Rosa Luxemburg and Marilyn Monroe to young girls killed in the name of some perverted sense of “honour”. Most likely a classic’ Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty

Book now 

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Love the Brontes? You’ll love this.

The Bristol Women’s Literature Festival is a big fan of those fantastic, challenging, inspiring and brave writers, the Bronte sisters. So we’re thrilled to help promote a series of plays that bring their work to life.

Butterfly Psyche Theatre presents

The Brontë Season

 “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Cathy, Wuthering Heights

 Three talented sisters

Three captivating heroines

Three new adaptations!

Whether you’re a hard-core Brontë fan or if you’ve never had the pleasure, these fresh new interpretations will invigorate, inspire and warm the heart of young and old.

Live Wire Theatre together with Butterfly Psyche Theatre have created three brilliant, new stage adaptations of the Brontë sisters’ classic novels: Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Performed in rep, with only one and two actors, there’s a chance to mix-and-match an old favourite along with a new acquaintance as well as the chance to see all three at Omnibus Performances on the Saturday (Arnos Vale only in Bristol)*.

Adapted by critically acclaimed writers Dougie Blaxland (BigglesA Christmas Carol, That Moment) and Alison Farina (Fertility ObjectsThe Persistence of MemoryThe Blue Bird) these new productions show very clearly how progressive and brave the Brontë sisters really were. Their passionate, iconic and timeless stories (written nearly 200 years ago) touch upon issues that are still very much relevant today.

Butterfly Psyche Theatre  is a Bath-based professional theatre company specialising in collaborative working, outreach and new writing. Our recent shows include: Fertility ObjectsThe Persistence of Memory, and our 2013 Family Christmas production, The Blue Bird.  We have teamed up with another Bath company, Livewire Theatre (recent shows include: That Moment,  A Christmas Carol, Biggles Flies a Fokker Hometo create this exciting project featuring some of Britain’s best love writers.

Also collaborating with us on the project is Bristol-based writer, producer and theatre maker, Shane Morgan. Shane is Co-Director of independent theatre company Roughhouse Theatre and has produced work in Australia, the UK and the USA. Shane is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Bristol, Associate Director of the Rondo Theatre, Bath and associate Theatre Editor for Bare Fiction magazine . He is also a regular reviewer for

Reviews of Livewire’s Jane Eyre:

“. as fine a stage adaptation of a novel as you are likely to see  – a five star show in every sense.”

Bath Chronicle 5-Stars (*****)

“.gave my soul a little hug…”

Intermission 5-Stars (*****)

“.first-class performance in what is undoubtedly a first-class production.”

British Theatre Guide 5-Stars (*****)

Ticket Prices:



Bath Rd, Bristol BS4 3EW

Weds 8th Oct: Jane Eyre

Thurs 9th Oct: Wuthering Heights

Fri 10th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Sat 11th Oct: 1pm Jane Eyre / 4pm Wuthering Heights / 7.30pm The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Parking for up to 30 vehicles on site. Alternative parking can be found across the road at Paintworks: Bath Rd, Bristol BS4 3EH


Westbury Road, Westbury-on-Trym,  Bristol BS9 3AW

Weds 22nd Oct: Jane Eyre

Thurs 23rd Oct: Wuthering Heights

Frid 24th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Sat 25th Oct: 2.30pm Jane Eyre / 7.30pm Wuthering Heights






Photos from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, all images by Lisa Hounsome

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