Whilst on tour in the UK in the autumn of 2009, I thought a lot about the Actresses' Franchise League, local suffrage societies across the country and the history of performers being on tour. I decided that I would speak the final speech by 'Woman' in Cicely Hamilton's 1909 play "A Pageant of Great Women" on the stage in every venue that I knew had held, or was old enough to have held suffrage meetings or performances or might have been where members of the Actresses' Franchise League performed during their careers.
I chose the speech from "Pageant", not only because it's beautiful, passionate and full of hope but also because it was one of the most widely performed suffrage plays in the period 1909-1914 and so therefore the most likely to have been done in that venue or town. Some venues were particularly special to me - and being in the Theatre Royal Margate was a thrill as so many AFL members had started their careers and trained in Margate with Sarah Thorne!
Thoughts, reflections, bits of research