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11 September 2018 Written by 

New play on tour celebrates the Hertfordshire Suffrage campaigners of 100 years ago

Marking this year's centenary of women gaining the vote in national elections, a new play from community theatre company Pins & Feathers is touring Hertfordshire in September.

'The March' is based on the real-life stories of Hertfordshire women who fought for change, from Suffragette Lady Constance Lytton of Knebworth, who endured prison and force feeding, to the Suffragists – the non-militant campaigners - who spread the message in every town and village.

The play features the extraordinary Great Pilgrimage of July 1913, in which thousands of Suffragists from all over the country marched to London to demonstrate peaceful mass support for the vote. The event had a big impact on Hertfordshire, as two arms of the march passed through the county.

Marchers coming down the Great North Road passed through Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage, Knebworth, Welwyn, Hatfield and Potter's Bar, while those coming from East Anglia down the Cambridge Road went through Royston, Buntingford, Ware and Hoddesdon. Many local people joined them along the way.

In all these towns the Suffragists held public meetings – some attended by more than 1,000 people – to put their case for women having the vote.

'The marchers with their banners must have been a real spectacle in the county', Kate Miller, writer of 'The March', says. 'Although there was a lot of support for votes for women in Hertfordshire, the marchers encountered hostile mobs too, and in Ware they had to be rescued by the police!'

Pins & Feathers is taking the play to many towns and villages through which the Pilgrimage passed, and also to Knebworth House. The show opens at Hertford Theatre and is a co- production with the theatre.

Full details and booking information are on the website:
www.pinsandfeathersproductions/the-march



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