Read my weekly roundup of radical arts and politics.. Mustang, Dare to be Free,Tom Paine and Will and Anne




Mustang, a Turkish film that mirrors the deepening crisis of  democracy in that country and its effect on the lives of girls and young women. Five sisters live with their grandmother and, because of one innocent incident at the beach after school, are imprisoned in their home. All their access to the outside world is cut off, including phones and  computers, and they are no longer  allowed to go to school. Instead they are prepared for life as a good Muslim wife; wearing conservative clothes, and being taught to cook and look after the house. But this is not a depressing film, the young women are not victims: they fight back, keeping contact with their friends, breaking out of the house to take part in a football match, and finally escaping their home-turned-prison. It is about the power of sisterhood but also, amidst all the depressing male characters,  it’s the young delivery driver who finally  facilitates the girls’ final breakout to Istanbul and freedom…we hope.

Read an interview with the filmmaker here

Find out about how women across the Middle East fighting back against conservatism –Headscarves and Hymens see my review here



MQ play


some of the new inspiring women in trade unions at the launch of the Mary Quaile Club pamphlet Dare to be Free on Saturday 4 June, 2pm,  at 3 Minute Theatre.  Nilufer Erdem from the Hotel Workers Unite branch and Sarah Woolley of the BFAWU will be talking about organising for decent pay and conditions. This will be followed by a performance of the play Dare to Be Free which contrasts the life of Manchester Irish trade unionist Mary Quaile with the lives of fast food workers today. More details see

The event is part of Manchester Histories Festival see more here



thomas-paine 1


to a film about one of my heroes; “To begin the world over again: the life of Thomas Paine” at the Working Class Movement Library on Wednesday 1 June at 6.30pm. It is a film of Ian Ruskin’s one man show about Thomas Paine. Paine was a man who lived his political ideals; he did not just write about the American and French revolutions – he took part! It is a message for our armchair revolutionaries of today: get off Twitter. His pamphlets on democracy were best sellers amongst the people at the bottom who really needed to be encouraged to take action. Sadly, we need Thomas or his female equivalent today, people who will inspire us not just with words but actions. Ian Ruskin has a lot to live up to as  Trevor Griffith’s play on Paine is superb – find out more here



will and anne

out  about 3MT’s unique take on “Will and Anne” on 12 June at 8pm. It’s another Mancunian view on Shakespeare, a world away from the highly financed and pretentious productions that usually grace the local theatres. The writer, John Topliff, has set the play in 2016 and we get to meet the mature Shakespeares. Anne, played by Lynn Touil, is a successful childrens’ writer and about to receive an award at the local Media City, while  Will, played by the mercurial Aiden J.Harvey, is a dissolute writer and actor. Through a series of flashbacks at past weddings and funerals we find out about their lives together. Like most couples, there are ups and downs and Will, as you would expect, comes out of it as a poor husband and father. It’s essential 3MT, and Topliff, as we get a refreshing new view on the royal family of the theatre world.

  Watch  a trailer here

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in anti-cuts, drama, feminism, films, human rights, labour history, Manchester, Middle East, political women, Socialist Feminism, trade unions, Uncategorized, women, working class history, young people and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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