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Stage Editorial

nstagegender17.jpg Gender? Shoved in a blender!

There are three (THREE!) shows coming to Northern Stage in October that do the hokey-cokey with notions of gender identity.

From the powerful and poignant to song and dance, from dressing down to dressing up, Northern Stage has got it covered (and uncovered) when it comes to playing around with gender this month. Manfred Karge’s Man to Man tells the story of Ella, a woman forced to adopt the identity of her dead husband in order to survive in Nazi Germany. Shunted from one memory to another, the audience experiences the full force of this all-consuming, one-woman play. It’s a Second World War story but seen from a uniquely personal perspective and comes trailing a string of 5-star reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe in its wake.

Seiriol Davies’ How to Win Against History, meanwhile, is an uproarious costume drama musical about Henry Cyril Paget, the cross-dressing 5th Marquis of Anglesey. Born in 1875 he burned briefly and boldly (but in bloomers), gloriously frittering away his extreme wealth on extravagant, diamond-studded plays. Expect a hilarious take on one man’s bid for posterity.

Finally, and challenging the idea that “genitals equal gender”, is award-winning transgender artist Kate O’Donnell (pictured) who bares all – I’m talking literally, alert! – in You’ve Changed. A follow-up to the hit show Big Girl’s Blouse, Kate shines a light on transitioning through song, dance, hard-won wisdom and humour. Gender bending? This is a season of pure gender origami.

How To Win Against History, Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 October, 7.45pm; Man to Man, Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 October, 7.30pm; Kate O’Donnell: You’ve Changed, Tuesday 31 October & Wednesday 1 November, 8pm. Northern Stage, Newcastle. All from £10. northernstage.co.uk