German Studies Talk and Performance

Two Great Events in Manchester

‘Hidden from History: Women of Aktion in the German Revolution 1918/19’

A talk by Dr Corinne Painter and Prof Ingrid Sharp (University of Leeds)

6pm on 15 November 2018

In: University Place 2.219

Followed by a wine reception


Corinne Painter and Ingrid Sharp will present the AHRC-funded project ‘Kiel Uprising: Women’s Activism and the German Revolution November 1918’ on the basis of which the play ‘Women of Aktion!’ has been written. See:

The play is currently touring and will be performed in Manchester the evening after the talk.


Women of Aktion!

A play by Mick Martin

Performed by Bent Architect

7.30pm on 16 November 2018

At Partisan Collective, 19 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M4 4FY



There is a mini-film about the play:

The full tour dates can be found here:

It’s the 1930’s and a young Joan Littlewood has walked out of RADA and stomped her way north, searching for the revolution. She reaches Manchester and finds kindred spirits, an industrial solidarity, and a determination to hear the voices of dissent – at the Rusholme Rep!

There she embarks on a production with Ernst Toller, German anarchist and ex political prisoner. His play, Draw The Fires tells of the story of the Kiel Uprising that brought the first world war to its knees.

But Joan doesn’t like the play, it’s all too male, where are the women she demands to know?!
Toller looks at her blankly…
As Joan’s rows with Toller shake the building, so from the factories of northern England to the mills of northern Germany, the voices of the women rise up from the depths. Together, they issue a revolutionary call that renounces militarism and brings the madness of war to an end.

They say history is written by the victors.
But whose voices can you hear when you read between the lines?

In this imagined piece, Bent Architect expertly weave newly unearthed verbatim histories of the women of Kiel with the radical force of Littlewood in her early Manchester years, to hear those voices resound afresh, to reveal a new, hitherto barely considered truth about a war which engulfed the world, which was brought to an end when ordinary people rejected conflict in favour of peace.

“Mick Martin’s cracking play… Nothing short of civil war in studs.”
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian (on Broken Time)

German Studies Talk and Performance
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