Aware that women are often left out of histories of science, Electric Voice Theatre uses the stories of female scientists to inspire commissions of new music from contemporary female composers.
In Superwomen of Science, Frances M Lynch sings nine short pieces in character, adding a theatrical touch to the music. While her costume and manner change from one time period to the next, the effect of having one performer present all of the scientists emphasises the common thread in their stories. From Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century polymath, to Jocelyn Bell Burnell, one of today’s best known astronomers, women have had to overcome prejudice and disapproval in order to pursue their curiosity about the world, and to get credit for their discoveries.
The aim is not to give full biographies - the music is informed by the scientists’ work as much as their life stories - but to engage the audience and send them back out into the world with a curiosity to learn more. At the end, everyone is given a tag with a name on it, another scientist to find out about. I got Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, so if you'll excuse me… (MR)
Superwomen of Science - Minerva Scientifica is on at various times and dates until August 28th. Hearing Loop, Wheelchair Accessible Toilets. Full details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/superwomen-of-science-minerva-scientifica
More on Electric Voice Theatre: www.electricvoicetheatre.co.uk
Science writer Jenny Gristock on the institutional sexism of science, still a problem today: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/31/women-science-industry-structure-sexist-courses-careers
Hildegard von Bingen: http://www.hildegard-society.org/p/home.html
Jocelyn Bell Burnell: https://royalsociety.org/people/jocelyn-bell-burnell-11066/
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/elizabethgarrettanderson