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If you thought that Hollywood was all glamour and fame, then perhaps you need to go along to see the debut touring show from Chloe Wade Productions, As SHE Likes It, coming to The Old Electric on Saturday 9th March.

As part of the show’s UK tour, actor Chloe Wade comes to Blackpool to tell a story that many may not know – that of 20-year-old dancer Patricia Douglas who, in 1937, was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted at an MGM party. The young dancer took on Hollywood’s most powerful institution and filed charges which were swiftly dismissed and silenced.

Three generations later, As SHE Likes It exposes the cultural legacy of sexism and exploitation that still haunts the industry today.

Writer and actress Chloe Wade created the show, which is described as a darkly comedic, queer, contemporary Brechtian-style play that uses live theatre and filmed footage to pose the question: How much has changed between the Hollywood of yesteryear and now?

Combining multimedia, verbatim dialogue, cabaret and drag, As SHE Likes It peeks behind the sepia-toned cigarette smoke and passionate embraces of Old Hollywood through the eyes of its archetypes.

There’s Damsel in Distress, or as she prefers to be known – her own knight in shining armour – who removes the rose-tinted filter to reveal the truth behind the romanticised facade; A Leading Lady who’s hiding her sexuality; A Sex Symbol who’s suppressing her appetite; A Comedy Queen who’s disguising her sadness with humour; and a starry-eyed Girl Next Door who’s discovering what it really takes to make it in Hollywood.

Highlighting the fact that the #MeToo campaign started much earlier than we might have thought, the stories in the show give voice to many women who were hitherto silenced. So much for the Hollywood happy ending.

It is a rallying cry to all women, young and old to rise up, stand strong, and to be inspired by the actions of an incredibly brave woman from another era.

“As SHE Likes It is the true story of a woman who had the courage to speak out despite the hostile attitudes of the time and the attempts by the studios and authorities to silence her,” says Wade. “Though her case was ultimately unsuccessful, her voice has been heard, and is still being heard today. In 2024 it’s loud and clear and amplified by this play.

“The women in our story are vibrant, playful and mighty, and the audiences are left not with a feeling of despair, but of celebration, empowerment and unity. It is a rallying cry to all women, young and old to rise up, stand strong, and to be inspired by the actions of an incredibly brave woman from another era, nearly 100 years ago.”

As SHE Likes It is created with support from Olivier award-winning playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia, Obsession, The Wasp), directed by Tilly Vosburgh (A Better Woman, The Man from Clare) and produced by Danica Corns (Edith, Still Floating, A Womb of One’s Own).

The play is supported by charity partners Solace Women’s Aid and LGBTQ+ charity Out In The Bay, along with the School of Stage and Screen at the University of Greenwich, Sheffield Theatres, Greenwich Theatre and The Space Theatre.

As SHE Likes It is performed for one night only at The Old Electric, Springfield Road, Blackpool, FY1 1QW, on Saturday 9th March at 7pm. Recommended for audiences age 13+. Tickets are £8 and available from the Old Electric website.

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Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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