The 8th-15th March marks HeForShe Arts Week – a string of events around London using the arts to evolve behaviour around gender equality. A new initiative from UN Women, it comprises performances, exhibitions, talks and screenings, such as…
1. A screening of Beauty and the Beast – before it’s out in cinemas (15th March, 6:30pm)
The Disney live action film – which is released in the UK on 17th March – stars UN goodwill ambassador Emma Watson who helped to launch the HeForShe campaign back in 2014 with a speech that went viral. With special guest appearances from those who created it, this is a chance to see what is already shaping up to be one of the biggest films of the year before anyone else.
2. Celebrate women in London (8th March, 7pm)
1000 Londoners’ Century: 10 Women x 10 Decades presents ten film portraits about brave, pioneering, funny and unique women aged from 0 to 100. They include a Dame knighted for her work in race relations, a wild swimmer, a feminist studying to be a Rabbi and a body builder. The contributors will also take part in a panel afterwards to discuss ‘Women and Ambition’.
3. Hear what it’s like to be a female artist (10th March, 6:30pm)
Kirsty Lang chairs this panel featuring British Museum project curator Catherine Daunt and art historian Griselda Pollock. They’ll be discussing ways in which female artists from the late 1960s to the present day have demanded space for the female voice and body.
4. Get inspired by Hidden Figures (11th March, 11:30am)
If you haven’t already seen this uplifting film about three African-American female scientists working for NASA during the Space Race, you absolutely should. Why? Because they dreamed big. And even when (many) people tried to get in the way of their dreams, they persevered – making their mark on history in the most exciting way. And because the cinema is pricey, this screening is free. Yes, FREE.
5. Who are the women making waves? (11th March, 12pm)
Yes, there are those women who we study in books or read about in magazines. But there are also those whose adventures and stories have been lost to history – women like Ching Shih (who may have been one of the most powerful pirates in history), Phillis Wheatley (the first published African-American female poet) and Jeanne Baret (the first woman to circumnavigate the world). Uncover their stories in a series of trails and workshops at Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum.
6. HeForShe Gender Equality debate (13th March, 9:30am)
Head down to Sadler’s Wells for a panel to discuss the role of arts in promoting greater gender equality and how this benefits all of society. Among the speakers are ballerina Tamara Rojo, the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris, Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director and chief executive, and Laura Haynes – chair of UN Women UK.
7. Award-winning improvised musical theatre (13-15 March, 7pm)
Netflix, you say? No, NOTFLIX. The multi award-winning sellout stage show is at the Kings Head Theatre from 13th-18th March. There’s a musical, a live bang and… original, improvised songs. By all accounts, it’s very, very funny.
8. A special night of comedy (14th March, 8:30pm)
Dane Baptiste, James Acaster , Ellie Taylor and Kiri Pritchard-Maclean will be bringing the laughs during a special HeForShe comedy evening at the 99 Club.
See here for full details of HeForShe Arts Week – and how to buy tickets