This is super hard as obviously there are so many. I’d rather do a top ten if I could and I’m totally cheating here as some of these choices are double acts. I’ve gone with women I don’t know personally, other than perhaps in a vague professional way. Of course, I’ve worked closely with incredible female performers who I do know personally, women such as Jess Thom AKA Touretteshero, who is an unstoppable force for good in the world and Jess Mabel Jones who is so talented and gorgeous it makes me moist, but I think it would be best to stick with women I know less intimately to avoid any conflict of interests…
So in no particular order:
Part of the inspiration for Sisterhood has been a vision I had of a World-Wide Women’s web that feels like it is beginning to glow because Mumma Earth is waking up (and you know you’re in BIG trouble if you’ve woken up Mumma)… This web is covered in dew drops and some of the drops are lighting up gold. This golden light is then spreading along the web and lighting up other women in its wake. Betty Grumble is a BIG old beautiful globule of light on this web and she nourishes the hell out of me. Betty is a sex clown, a shaman, a huge heart and beacon of love. I adore her. Follow her on Instagram. You will not be disappointed.
I’ve only seen Olivia perform once in The Furies with Kiln theatre company. A gig inspired by Clytemnestra’s Greek revenge myth, casting her ‘FURIES’ of vengeance as front women of a rock band. Olivia was this androgynous, Noel Fielding type character who I couldn’t take my eyes off. All the Kiln ladies are awesome performers, but basically, I have a massive girl crush on Olivia and when I saw her afterwards out of costume I couldn’t believe how different she looked. So then of course I had to internet stalk her and I discovered all her work is brilliant. She’s a proper talent, a huge inspiration and I want to know her.
This is cheating as there are two to three women in this company, but I don’t care. Two Man Show is a big inspiration for Sisterhood. I loved their opening Priestess introduction to history of how patriarchy came to be and Abbi Greenland’s monologue at the end about being a ‘Man woman’ is, in my opinion, the best female monologue ever written. They can dance, they can sing, they can play a variety of instruments and their lighting, costume and set designs rock. Smashing.
Mary Higgins and Ell Potter, HOTTER
Also cheating, but still don't care... This was my favourite ‘wild card’ Edinburgh show ever. We just went because of a flyer that had been thrust into our hands and the show was a proper little treat. We laughed, we cried, we danced on the stage. It was simple and full of compassion and the two women were both authentic human beings that weren’t all ego and pomp, but big shocking pink hearts. I think the show is in Edinburgh again this year, it’s certainly touring, so if you can go see Hotter then do it.
Another woman I want to be my friend (I want them all to be my friend)... I first saw her in Islands and she was this twisted, grotesque and hilarious evil bitch. I loved the show and was shocked to discover afterwards that it had been slammed by the critiques. I mean seriously, WTF? I then discovered how big a deal she was and that she also had a one woman show on during Edinburgh Fringe that year; You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy. I went to watch it the next day and what a shocking contrast. It was utterly charming, whereas Islands had been more like an episode of Bottom. I love it when performers can surprise and stretch in opposing directions like this. She’s another hero to me. And such a sweet soul.