‘A woman who expends her energy exercising the brain does so at the expense of her vital organs.’
It is 1896 at Girton College, Cambridge, and Elizabeth Welsh is preparing for battle.
Girton is the first college in Britain to admit women. The girls there have risked everything to go to University. They study ferociously. They match their male peers grade for grade. And they leave empty handed. While the men graduate and are awarded their degrees, the girls gain only the stigma of being a ‘blue stocking’, an unnatural educated woman. They are unqualified and, worse, unfit for marriage.
In Jessica Swale’s debut play, Blue Stockings, Tess Moffat and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. The play follows them over one tumultuous year as they do battle against the great intellectual inequality of their day.
CUADC presents Blue Stockings in its first university production following a critically acclaimed debut at the Globe just four months ago. The blue stockings return to Cambridge to fight for their right to an education.
‘The only thing a woman can own is knowledge… We must build our Trojan horse and infiltrate from the inside.’