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Stunt suffragette

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This month, professional stuntwoman and local resident Lucy Allen will be giving a presentation about the suffragette movement, partly inspired by her window-smashing work on the 2015 film Suffragette.

This month, I shall be returning to the Wanstead Park Women’s Club to give my latest talk ‘Suffragette and the Petticoat Rebellion’. I have already shared my adventures as a stuntwoman with this group and also told tales about ‘The Ship of Dreams’, the doomed liner Titanic and what it was like to work on the Oscar-winning film.

This time, I will be in window-smashing mode talking about my experiences working on the 2015 film Suffragette and telling the story of the suffragette movement in, I hope, a lively ‘Lucy-style’ way, using the actual voices from the women themselves. Last year was the centenary year of some women getting the vote, which inspired me to produce this talk.

The suffragettes hold a special place in my heart because they were so fearless and bold. My first London theatre performances were in a production of The Petticoat Rebellion when I was only 17 and a member of the National Youth Theatre. This play certainly taught me a lot about what the suffragettes went through and why they were fighting to get votes for women. Years later, to my delight, I am still performing, but these days in film and TV as a stunt performer. So, it was perfect for me when I got the call to be a ‘stunt suffragette’ in the feature film staring Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and this time I got to physically smash a very large window – not as easy as you might think, as I will explain during my talk.

Of course, being a local resident (I’ve lived in Forest Gate for 19 years), I am aware that our local history includes suffragette royalty: Sylvia Pankhurst, Emmeline Pankhurst’s daughter, who lived in Woodford Green for many years. She is remembered with a blue plaque near Woodford Tube station and you may know Pankhurst Green – there is a little silver plaque there remembering her, as she lived nearby in Charteris Road.

The Wanstead Park Women’s Club welcomes all newcomers, so if you want to hear more about the suffragette movement and their brave militants, such as Emily Wilding Davidson and Constance Lytton, please join us. I will also have a small table sale of suffragette memorabilia and any profit will go to the fantastic women’s charity Womankind Worldwide, which works to empower women and girls in Africa and elsewhere. We shall start the evening singing The March of the Women, the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Movement. So, please come along in good voice! I hope to see you there.

Lucy’s talk will take place at Aldersbrook Bowls Club on 8 July from 8pm (visitors: £2; booking required). Call 020 8925 4875

For more information on Lucy’s talks, visit talks4groups.uk

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