I was first exposed to "Salome" the opera, directed by David McVicar at the Royal Opera House back in 2008. Salome is a complex and flawed character-I was immediately fascinated by her and the choices she makes. I started researching the Oscar Wilde play and made instant parallels between Salome and the modern day socialite; the Kim Kardashians and Miley Cyrus' of the entertainment industry. Their highly sexualised antics, constant need for validation, and flirtation with the public all echoed Salome, who is prized for her virginity and beauty above all else. Deep in my research, somewhere between watching TED talks, studying Caitlin Moran, and reading the numerous articles dedicated to the exploitation of the female form – I started to see the world with fresh eyes. Suddenly I saw our objectification EVERYWHERE. And it made me ANGRY.
As a director, I believe my strongest work comes from a place of passion. When something makes me angry or upset, I take that as my cue to explore further. I believe theatre is a platform for asking uncomfortable questions, raising awareness, seeking difficult truths.
As a feminist, I see injustices towards women each and every day. I wonder how much of our behaviour is programmed by a patriarchal society? And when I see female celebrities using their bodies and sexuality to make money – I can't help but wonder – who is really in control?
Women may be more sexually liberated than ever (particularity in the West) – but does this overt sexuality give us power? Or does it diminish it?
It's 2015, and social media is everywhere. The female form in all its manifestations is readily available for public consumption at all times. "Salome" is a hard look at the result of that. "Salome" is our platform to ask uncomfortable questions about the objectification of women, raise awareness of how the male gaze alters female behaviour, and seek difficult truths in our complicity in this exploitation. Because we are all complicit - in one way or another.
If this whets your appetite for 'Salome' make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with our casting calls and show information!