Set in London in 1913, with militancy in the Suffragette Movement at its height, the play revolves around a crucial moment when women refused to let the establishment stand in their way. Thousands of women of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their fight to gain the vote. Among them is Lady Celia Cain, who feels trapped by both the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage. Inside, she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into an erotic but dangerous chaos.
Lady Celia Cain is played by Lesley Manville, last seen in the National's production of The Alchemist in 2006, directed by Nicholas Hytner. She also appeared at the National in Ibsen's Pillars of The Community, His Dark Materials and The Marriage of Figaro. She was most recently seen on the London stage in the Old Vic adaptation of the Almodovar film All About My Mother. She has appeared extensively with the RSC and Royal Court as well, and has starred in several films directed by Mike Leigh, including "Vera Drake," "All or Nothing," "Topsy Turvy," "Secrets and Lies" and "High Hopes."
Also in the cast are Jemima Rooper (as Eve Douglas), Zoe Aldrich, Julien Ball, David Beames, Ken Bones, Elicia Daly, Joe Dunlop, Susan Engel, Stephanie Jacob, Dermot Kerrigan, Anna Lowe, Nick Malinowski, Pamela Merrick, Edward Newborn, Harriet Quarrie, Adrian Rawlins, Stephanie Thomas, Tony Turner and Robert Willox.
The production is directed by Howard Davies, whose recent productions at the National include Never So Good, Philistines, The Life of Galileo, Paul, The House of Bernarda Alba and Mourning Becomes Electra.
For tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.