In the aftermath of the newly-passed abortion act, novelist Norman Mailer held a Dialogue on Women's Liberation to debate and defend his own essay, which asserted: 'the prime responsibility of a woman probably is to be on Earth long enough to find the best mate possible for herself and conceive children who will improve the species.'
He took on took on a panel of feminist thinkers and an audience of literary heavyweights including Germaine Greer, Susan Sontag, Betty Freidan and the subsequent discussion ended up becoming the most talked about event of the season. Captured on camera, it became the subject of 1979 documentary Town Bloody Hall.
New York's foremost experimental theatre-makers The Wooster Group draw on a real night in 1971 in their play The Town Hall Affair, which comes to the Barbican after impressing Off-Broadway.
Wooster Group's artistic director Elizabeth LeCompte goes well beyond the transcript and recorded footage of the evening to create a avant garde fusion of reality and abstraction. Long-time collaborator, actress Maura Tierney (who you may recognise from hit HBO show The Affair) leads the cast playing the real life speakers.
'It used to be funny,” Tierney says of the more salacious comments recorded in the debate. 'Norman Mailer says these outrageous things, outrageously disrespectful and crass things to the women on the panel. But now our president talks like that.'
Book now to see a bold take on feminist history that is as relevant now as ever.
|What||The Town Hall Affair, Barbican Centre Theatre|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
21 Jun 18 – 23 Jun 18, 7:45 PM – 8:50 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican Centre|