Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

The Sewell Barn Company

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The Female of the Species

by Joanna Murray-Smith

Director:  Mel Sessions

Contact: 01493 369206

               Mob. 07901751768 (very poor signal at home, so landline preferred)

Performances dates:  13 -15 &19 - 22 February (including a matinee on 22 February) 2020


The Female of the Species is a satirical comedy. It is full of larger than life characters, bad language, bad behaviour, high drama and some farcical situations.

The story is set in the study of a country home belonging to Margot Mason, an accomplished writer but one who after many successes has lost her inspiration. Thirty years previously she wrote her groundbreaking work The Cerebral Vagina. She is a fearless academic and pioneer of the 1970’s Women’s Liberation movement. She has alienated not only members of her family but also some of her students. One of them arrives unexpectedly to take her revenge.

The play was first produced in Melbourne in 2006 and in 2008 in London as a revised version starring Eileen Atkins as Margot and Anna Maxwell Martin as the student.

The play was inspired by an incident involving Germaine Greer but the characters and storyline are fictional

CAST: 3m.3f.

Ages given are approximate playing ages. The descriptions are the playwright’s!

Margot Mason sixty-ish, handsome, impressive, a monster

Molly Rivers early 20s, bright

Tess Thornton late 30s, lost

Bryan Thornton late 30s, boyish, handsome but thick

Frank early 30s, handsome, masculine

Theo Reynolds 60s, dapper, handsome


Sunday 15 September from 2-5pm

Initially some reading of sections of the script, followed by pair or group work on the text.  Please contact the director if you are interested but unable to make the above date.


Rehearsals will begin in early December. There are likely to be three rehearsals a week initially, probably Mondays Tuesdays and Fridays or Sundays. Longer Sunday rehearsals may be called from time to time. As Margot is unable to escape from the room for most of the play, she will be required at all rehearsals.

Script :  Nick Hern Books  ISBN 978-1-85459-522-5