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Splendour highlights stories of women in crisis

By Michelle Li, October 25 2016 —

The University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will present Splendour from Oct. 28–29. The award-winning play is written by British screenwriter Abi Morgan, also known for the film The Iron Lady.

Splendour focuses on the lives of women in a time of crisis and the contemporary play is loosely based on the Romanian Revolution.

“It’s really about looking at female identity in terms of challenging positions,” director Dawn McCaugherty says. “All of the characters in the play are influenced by their world crumbling around them.”

The main character faces difficulties surrounding motherhood and being a woman during chaos. Many questions arise in the narrative around how children should be raised under such circumstances as well as how a woman should behave in a domestic position when she is faced with her changing environment.

“[They] experience their world crumbling around them and because of it they’ve had to discover deeper truths and more honest truths about themselves and relook at their position in the world and what they stand for,” McCaugherty says.

McCaugherty is a professor of drama at the U of C and has led a group of students in producing this play. The only alterations to the original script for this performance involved changing British mannerisms. They wanted the audience to have a clear understanding of the story while also being able to enjoy the play’s authenticity.

McCaugherty describes the play as  “visually beautiful.”

“It’s also a very complex play in terms of lighting and sound,” she says.

Splendour focuses on four main themes — identity, power, children and social justice — each addressing issues regarding the position of women. Children are also very important in the story, as they play to the traditional views of women being domestic with duties to keep-house and raise children, a view greatly challenged in times of crisis.

The play runs on Oct. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. Most of the cast and crew are U of C students.

For more information, visit scpa.ucalgary.ca

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