‘Love or knowledge: which would you choose?’
A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women’s suffrage.
1896. Girton College, Cambridge, the first college in Britain to admit women. The Girton girls study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a ‘blue stocking’ – an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified and unmarriageable.
In Jessica Swale’s debut play, Blue Stockings, Tess Moffat and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. The play follows them over one tumultuous academic year, in their fight to change the future of education.
Blue Stockings received its professional premiere at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, in August 2013, directed by John Dove.
‘Cracking… leaves you astonished at the prejudices these educational pioneers had to overcome’
‘Brings wit and intelligence to a meaty subject’
— Evening Standard
‘Lively and eye-opening’
‘Thoughtful and provocative… thoroughly researched and grippingly dramatised’
— The Stage
‘Touching and entertaining… Swale tells the story with both wit and a hint of righteous indignation’