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Ladyfest Flyer

Ladyfest Flyer

Ladyfest: a celebration of imperfection

In honour of International Women’s Day on Saturday 8 March, Hastings & St Leonards is to be the home of Ladyfest: a celebration of imperfection, curated by riart Grrrls. From 6-8 March, venues across St Leonards will be hosting a diverse range of performance events in support of Refuge East Sussex. Grace Vogiatzis reports.

Ladyfest is a truly grass roots festival. Brought together by the tenacious riart Grrrls, a volunteer-led collective of local artists and performers, the festival is going ahead despite a lack of funding for 2014, enabled by the generosity of its artists and the hosting venues, Moose’s Kitchen and The Roomz.

Seeking to celebrate ‘all forms of self-identifying-female-led creativity in Hastings’, the programme is inclusive and diverse. The three days of events will bring together arts and original live performance, from film to theatre, poetry and musical performance in venues across St Leonards. riart Grrrls enthuse that this festival is for everyone, all ages and, perhaps more significantly, all genders are most welcome: ‘You don’t have to be a lady to enjoy Ladyfest’.

Charitable at its heart, the proceeds from the festival are going towards Refuge, one of the many national organisations for victims of domestic violence that have been hit by debilitating budget cuts. Our own Refuge East Sussex, which represents five women’s refuges across the county, has reported cuts of 50% over the last year, so all money raised will be extremely gratefully received.

Following on from riart Grrrls’ successful collaboration with the School Creative Centre last year to produce Domestic Disturbance, also in aid of Refuge, Ladyfest looks set to be an enduring feature in Hastings artistic scene. Encouraged by Hastings County Council, this festival is hoping to grow in scope next year, taking a firm place in Hastings cultural calendar.

LADYFEST PROGRAMME:
Thursday 6th March 7pm: Screening of trailer for ‘A Difficult Birth’:
FREE EVENT @ Moose’s Kitchen, 52 Kings Road, St Leonards, TN37 6DY.

Afghan mother

One of the mothers Janey met in Kabul

Ladyfest kicks off with a thought provoking evening of discourse on family relations and motherhood. Hastings resident Janey Moffatt Laloë will present photographs and film from her recent experiences with young mothers in Afghanistan. There will be music from lead singer of The Fabulous Red Diesel, Kat Lee-Ryan. Performing songs about daughters, mothers and sisters, Kat will be accompanied by her own daughter, Sky Lee Ryan, as a special guest on backing vocals.

Friday 7th March 8pm: A Day in the life of a Woman. ENTRANCE £5 (concessions £3) TICKETS ON THE DOOR @ The Roomz, 33 Western Road, St Leonards, TN37 6DJ.

Goddess in the Gutter theatre company

The cast of A Day in a life of a Woman

Written by Local writer and performer Lisa Harmer-Pope, and directed by Heather Alexander, A day in the life of a Woman follows a single spoken story, told through the monologues of a collection of different women. Dealing with some themes of sexual violence, the piece is gritty, hard hitting yet funny and enlightening. The piece has a great ensemble of actresses from the Goddess in the Gutter Theatre Company, led by Heather Alexander, whose varying credits stretch from London’s West End through to the equally glamorous Stables theatre Hastings.

Saturday 8th March 8pm: Ladyfest Finale. ENTRANCE £5 (concessions £3) TICKETS ON THE DOOR @ The Roomz, 33 Western Road TN37 6DJ.

The festival concludes with a vibrant night of performance poetry and music from the likes of Kate Tym, a published author and performance poet; Gwyneth Wint, recently published by Waterloo Press in an anthology of diverse writers finding ways to express experience and authenticity; Cait Lin HT, “a feminist activist cat-lover free-hugger rain-dancer and poet”, Rebecca Mason and her singer/songwriter, guitarist/pianist daughter Lauren Bransby and local self-taught local acoustic folk singer Jerri Leigh Brodie.

For more information on the happenings of Ladyfest, click here.

As space is limited, please make sure you arrive in good time for each event. Please note that while both venues are wheelchair accessible, only The Roomz has disabled toilets. 

Posted 14:34 Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 In: Arts News

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