Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Monday Night's Alright for Women Fighting Back against the System

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Monday Night's Alright for Women Fighting Back against the System

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter The Viewer

Snatches BBC Four, 10pm Rebel Women: The Great Art Fightback BBC Four, 10.30pm AT LAST, some good drama on a Monday night. Let's not beat around the bush (pun only half-intended), Snatches is excellent. It's a series of monologues inspired by women who have challenged the status quo, commissioned for BBC Four to mark 100 years of women's suffrage. If this sounds worthy, it's not it's too clever for that. And each episode is just 15 minutes long (perfect for short millennial attention spans).

The name Snatches was originally suggested as a joke by Vicky Featherstone, the Royal Court Theatre's artistic director, who is curating the eight-part series. But BBC Four was "rather amused by it, it's reclaiming the word, isn't it?" she has said, and it caught on.

It kicks off with Romola Garai in Compliance by Abi Morgan, the timely tale of a young, insecure actress meeting a powerful male producer. The intensity of watching a monologue makes it feel more like theatre than television, but because it's TV we get to see Garai's tortured expression up close as she tells her harrowing story. Garai is one of the best actresses around and this performance feels real, drawing you in with pace and raw feeling. You sense her ambition and pride; followed by fear, hot shame and loathing. She is also a skilled mimic of the producer and his female secretary, who is oblivious to any exploitation.

The second episode, by young playwright Theresa Ikoko, is more hopeful. Corinne Skinner-Carter plays an older woman reflecting on her life as a protester, with a glint in her eye. She is the sort of person you would want on your side forthright, brave and funny. She means business, she relishes resistance, violence and conflict, and is impatient for change. Occasionally, this episode veers into lecturing but she's a captivating orator: "We can't wait 10 years like our mothers we can't be grateful for the crumbs at the table if we can't get a seat at that table we are trying to drag the world forward and this is to do with the oppression and exclusion of any group. …

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