The Guilty Feminist Live Tour

        In Spring 2019, we were invited to be part of The Guilty Feminist Live Tour at The Theatre Royal, Nottingham. We obviously leapt at the chance, or did wheelies. As the female co-founder of Nott Normal, I (Antonia) was chosen as spokesperson / guest on the show, but they generously gave us three tickets. So, on went our glad-rags. We watched the first half of the show together, before myself and my access ally, Gaby, went backstage for the second half. Watching the show was as I imagined; joyful, provocative, hopeful and challenging, full of michief, music, facts and frivolity. Almost every seat was filled and the energy was electric and mutually supportive. Underneath the laughter you could hear the #metoo moments; the acknowledgement of pain in life-affirming and irreverent ways. The line up in Nottingham included the legends Sarah Keyworth, Kemah Bob, Grace Petrie and the great Deborah Frances White. We had great fun when we found out the lift leading backstage was broken but no one had informed us. This was the entrance we were told to use, so at half time we did as instructed, left the theatre and went around the back. It was difficult getting in and if I’d been on my own it would have been impossible. It was clear there had been some miscommunication somewhere along the line because the stage manager didn’t appear to have expected the person in the wheelchair to be the Nott Normal spokesperson. But things were sorted out. To be honest, a lot of people expect wheelers and others with differences of ability or disability to be in more passive ‘done to’ rather than ‘doing’ roles. If you’re quite mouthy like I am, that can be frustrating. Dan was watching the show as Gaby and I ended up rolling in via the scene dock, then wheeling along the very narrow passage behind the stage with the performance happening the other side. My nerves were more than a bit frazzled by this experience but it was very worth it. It was a fantastic thing to be part of. Other guests included two wonderful women from Nottingham Women’s Centre. We are thankful to The Guilty Feminist for the opportunity. The overall event was phenomenal, largely inclusive and helped turn my access assistant from a ‘I’m not sure I’m feminist’ into a woman firmly committed to women’s as well as LGBTQ+ empowerment.