The Women and War festival, hosted by So and So Arts Club from 4-31 July, is a month long multi-discipline exploration of women’s experiences pre, during and post war, throughout history. It exists to give voice to so many women whose lives have been impacted by conflict yet are not recognised in many societies.
Comedy may not be what you’d expect to find amongst a collection of thought-provoking war-time performances, and Kate Cook’s WWII based one-woman show ‘Invisible Woman’ stands proudly alone as the only comedy piece in the entire festival. However, the significance of Kate’s one-woman show within this festival is indisputable, as this excerpt from Broadway Baby’s 4-star review of ‘Invisible Woman’ describes:
‘There’s a lot of fun in this piece, but it operates on a deeper level as well, drawing on research to depict a possible experience of a woman during the war (admittedly, a very unique woman who has many very unique experiences). What’s interesting is that the protagonist doesn’t have a first name. Throughout she is either referred to by her husband’s surname or nicknames. This is a striking reminder of the way women are often pushed to one side in our recollection of history.’
In her show, Kate creates a protagonist that, as Broadway Baby says, is incredibly unique, yet her anonymity – never even being shown in the performance – is representative of millions of women across the world and throughout time.
With this poignant context in mind, I’d like to pose two questions:
If you were stuck in a bunker in the last few years of the largest and most destructive war the world has ever seen, to whom would you turn for a unique insight into what was going on around you?
Equally, to whom would you turn if you were stuck in So and So Arts Club’s Bunker in (hopefully) the hottest July on record?
The answer to both of these questions is undoubtedly ‘Funny Women’ semi-finalist, Kate Cook. ‘Invisible Woman’ has rightfully received fantastic reviews, labelled ‘superb’ (★★★★ Broadway Baby) and ‘nothing short of genius’ (★★★★ EdFringe Review) for Kate’s hilarious writing and dynamic characters which come together to tell the story of the invisible woman.
So what’s it about?
It’s a thrilling tale of derring-do in WWII! Repressed housewife, Mrs Bishop, is just the person to help the resistance – but who is this mysterious lady, and will her true identity be revealed? Award-winning comedian Kate Cook plays a host of characters as the tale unfolds – from 15 year old Cecily, the swing dancing dreamer, to sadistic Gestapo General Herr von Schnerkel and many a crafty dodger in between… It’s a story-telling tour de force, a funny, touching portrayal of one woman’s journey to freedom and adventure.
Just to reiterate, Mrs. Bishop, codenamed Invisible Woman, is the person you turn to in WWII. Kate Cook is the person you turn to for fun at the Women and War Festival, 5-31 July.
Kate Cook’s ‘Invisible Woman’ takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions in one short hour: it is hilarious, utterly unique and amazingly thought-provoking. If this show hasn’t earned its way into your July calendar, I guarantee you’ll be missing out.
Kate Cook is performing at Women and War festival 5-31 July at the So and So Arts Club, 6 Frederick’s Place, London, EC2R 8AB. For details and to buy your tickets visit the Women and War Festival website!
Megan Taylor, Marketing & PR Assistant