The story of Ethel Smyth, composer, writer and suffragette, told in her own words and compositions, in a flowing fusion of drama and music. 
Performed by contralto Lucy Stevens and pianist Elizabeth Marcus.
“Not only is Stevens a terrific actor, she is also an exceptional contralto, with a wonderful warmth and clarity of tone. Pianist Elizabeth Marcus was deeply impressive and adept at performing the fiendish orchestral reductions …Smyth’s sense of humour shone through Stevens’ spirited performance, which was funny, touching and uplifting in turn. ‘Grasp the Nettle’ is a magnificent entertainment that I can barely recommend highly enough.” Light Music Society magazine. May 2018
Ethel Smyth was the living embodiment of the courage and passion with which Victorian women challenged the “male machine”.  As an activist, she was imprisoned in Holloway with Mrs Pankhurst.  As a composer, she wrote the anthem for the suffrage movement ‘The March of the Women’ as well as composing 6 operas and many sonata’s, quartets and song cycles.
Meet Ethel, who smashed windows and defied boundaries to grasp her dreams. 

 

Photographs by Laura Doddington