Reservoir Mogs: The feline foursome tackling female empowerment

Reservoir Mogs, this year’s Christmas production from the Wardrobe Theatre in Old Market, is turning gender stereotypes on their head.

The play is a unique hybrid of two prominent productions – Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats – featuring an all-female cast of characters taking on the role of gangster cats.

Adam Fuller, Director, said: “Productions such as Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Deathproof are brilliantly written, but often talk about women in a derogatory fashion – we wanted to turn this on it’s head, but at the same time give the characters a sense of empowerment by not making them typically female”.

Reservoir Mogs is the seventh Christmas comedy to be created by The Wardrobe Theatre, following on from other highly-acclaimed productions including  Rocky: A Horror Show, Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears, and Muppits Die Hard.

The play focuses on four characters – Ms Pink, Ms Blonde, Ms Orange and Ms White – the female counterparts of those portrayed in Reservoir Dogs.

The women play quite masculine characters (typically discussing derogatory subject matter including sexual activity and violence), which gives them a sense of empowerment in an industry that’s often recognised as being male-dominated.

Research conducted by Elizabeth Freestone of Pentabus Theatre and The Guardian suggests that there is a stubborn 2:1 male-to-female ration in English theatre.

The nihilistic Ms Blonde played by Emma Keaveney-Roys.
The nihilistic Ms Blonde played by Emma Keaveney-Roys. Credit: Paul Blakemore

Katy Sobey, who plays Ms Pink comments: “I’ve never been in an all-female production before, but when we were considering which artists we could base our performance on, we realised that there were almost no women who play the role of gangsters.

“Reservoir Dogs is so male-driven; you barely see any women, so it was an eye-opening experience and very empowering.”

Emma Keaveney-Roys, who plays the nihilistic Ms blonde, said:  “I feel like I am quite masculine as a woman anyway and this is a huge part of what makes me who I am, so I was able to use elements of my own personality to really drive the role.”

Katie Sobey plays Ms Pink
Katy Sobey plays Ms Pink. Crdit: Paul Blakemore

Co-Directors Adam Fuller and Matt Whittle were adamant that while the feline characters would transcend typical gender stereotypes, this would not not be the entire motivation for the production.

Fuller said: “It’s funny how long it took for the four actors to not feel as though they were playing men, but women. We’re not used to seeing females playing those scenarios and it was difficult for them to shed those ideas – but we just see it as four amazing actors playing four great people, not men.”

Reservoir Mogs will be showing at The Wardrobe Theatre until January 21 2018.

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