Theatre News

Girl on girl: Six great shows by women about women

There’s a spate of plays about issues that affect women, written by women out this season. Rejoice.

The inner lives of women are a little bit different from the inner lives of men. Here are six plays about abortion, a women's detention centre, a gender-curious teen girl and two sisters with very different ways of seeing the world.

The Scar Test

Soho Theatre, 5 to 22 July

The Scar Test by Hannah Khalil refers in its title to how medical and other professionals are meant to test for signs of torture if they see markings on a person's body. The setting is Yarl's Wood detention centre, which houses a female population of detainees awaiting deportation. The verbatim piece focuses on how women are treated like prisoners – or worse. Read our review of The Scar Test.


Royal Court, 5 July to 12 August

This new show by Vivienne Franzmann is about surrogacy and our capacity for denial when we really want something. Jude Christian returns to direct at the Court following Lela & Co in 2015. The cast includes Justine Mitchell and Broadchurch's Hannah Rae.
Read our review of Bodies.


Soho Theatre, 6 July to 26 August

Amy Morgan plays Dee, a bisexual woman whose sexual partners have various proclivities, as she moves to a new city and tries to reinvent herself. Written and directed by Vicky Jones, one half of DryWrite, the company behind Fleabag. Read the critics' responses to Touch.

Queen Anne

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 14 July to 5 August

Helen Edmundson's play centres on the complex relationship between Anne (Emma Cunniffe) and her bestie, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Romola Garai), and how their power dynamic is turned on its head when Anne becomes Queen. Read our review of Queen Anne.


National Theatre (Dorfman), 21 July to 28 September

Lucy Kirkwood's play stars Olivia Williams as a scientist who works on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and Olivia Colman as her sister. Williams' head for empiricism comes to blows with her sister's less fact-based approach to life. The material sounds very science-y, but it's the human relationships that Kirkwood is brilliant at bringing to life.


Soho Theatre, 1 to 12 August

Written by Stacey Gregg, this multi-award-winning play comes to Soho after tours of Adelaide, Sweden, Ireland and last year's Edinburgh Fringe. It heads up to Edinburgh again this year (21 to 27 August), but you can catch it first in London. The play focuses on a gender-curious teen who discovers the freedom to be herself online.