How do you react if someone is harassing you in a club? At what point has it gone too far?
At this year’s Fringe, Girl Code Theatre’s debut production Coming Home With Me explores the different ways three individual women deal with sexual harassment across a night out in Brighton.
Writer and director Maddie Ross used verbatim material to construct the play after carrying out extensive interviews with students, representatives from an anti-harassment charity and a nightclub bouncer, as well as online research into news stories about harassment and relevant court cases.
The show, which won the Pebble Trust Brighton Fringe award, has three cast members: Girls A, B and C, who are amalgamations of Maddie’s research findings and the real stories she heard.
She said: “I’ve always loved the idea of creating verbatim and documentary theatre as I want to create truthful work which reflects the society that I see.
“The show is episodic and definitely a story I’ve woven together from the research, but it’s grounded in interview and the people I talked to are very present in the show.”
Part of her inspiration came purely from her own experience of dealing with harassment. In particular, one night in Edinburgh where a man persistently tried to touch her inappropriately.
“I think it’s important to say I never want to shove an opinion down anyone’s throat. I am presenting a story, which I, and almost every woman I know live as a daily reality.”
Maddie says she wants to highlight how harassment remains a huge problem in UK club culture. She hopes the show will get audiences talking about the issue.
“I hope to alert some audiences to the fact that harassment is still prevalent and devastating and also to empower people and hopefully equip them with the tools they need to protect themselves from harassment safely.”
Alongside the performances, Maddie will be inviting audiences to workshops based around the themes in the show.
Coming Home With Me appeared at Brighton Fringe from 13 - 16 May, 6.30pm - 7.30pm at Sweet Werks 2.
More information on the show can be found here