Letters Live: Raising voices and lifting spirits on International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day brings a charge of electricity to the air – a spark that is ignited by the promise of change, of creating a better future for all of those who identify as a female, and even in lockdown it’s in evidence.
To make a change, there has to be a way to ensure that all voices are heard. For centuries, those who could not (or would not) find a platform in public spaces would take a pen to paper and write. And, though letter writing may have fallen out of fashion over time, the weight letters carry remains unchanged. With pens poised and voices sharp, words can enact real change in society.
This sentiment is echoed clearly and resolutely throughout every Letters Live performance. Launched in 2013, the initiative focuses on “the celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence”, and often features a range of star-studded performers who work to bring the words to life on stage. In celebration of International Women’s Day, and in collaboration with the WOW (Women Of The World) Foundation, Letters Live have re-released a series of archived performances that celebrate what it means to be a woman, while simultaneously addressing urgent issues. Featuring familiar faces such as Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson and Adwoa Aboah, each letter illuminates a unique story, perspective, or voice, all threaded together in the hope of enacting change and establishing equality.
In a time when theatres are closed, praise must be given to those who continue to create work. Though each of these letters was performed at a different time to an audience elsewhere, their message is just as important the second time around. By carefully selecting the work and artfully stitching it together, Letters Live manage to capture multiple female experiences in less than a single hour’s viewing time. No stone is left unturned, with the performance moving between frank discussions of difficult situations to moments of sheer joy. The result is a powerful production that is sure to resonate with audiences across the country and beyond.
The Letters Live @ WOW series is free to view, in a demonstration of clear commitment to accessibility – after all, financial barriers, particularly during this difficult time, should not close the door on the very people who need to be in the room in the first place. Furthermore, though 8th March presents the opportunity to celebrate all things female, the celebrations can be extended, as the production will be featured on both the Letters Live and The Show Must Go On Youtube channels for the coming month.
It is clear that the work of Letters Live, and indeed the WOW foundation, does not end here. As the fight for true equality continues, so does their effort to help bring about that change.
The WOW Women of the World festival is on until 21st March 2021. For further information or to book visit the foundation’s website here.
For further information about Letters Live and future events visit here.