Ladies


2004, 17’ 41”, Video.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School / Ignition.


An exploration of the hidden histories to be found in an Edwardian Ladies Cloakroom.
A public location, private acts, Ladies come and go….


Ladies explores the hidden cultural history of an unrepresented public place. Through the location of an Edwardian (1904) ladies toilet I wanted to portray hidden histories, notions of gender/private space and performity. The interweaving of individual and social experiences in the ladies’ room is shaped by the contours of the cubicle, wooden bench, ceramics and mirrored surfaces and the soundscape of drips, the echoing well-heeled footfalls and rushing water from the high level cisterns. At the same time the women actively structure the space through the things they leave behind: a blood stained stocking, a hair ribbon, a discarded engagement ring. The insignificant objects say something significant about the women who have passed through this public space.

The production of this film was made through a residency at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as part of a location drama programme for stage and television students. I brought in industry professionals to work alongside students on this production to ensure good practice and high quality production values. The students gained an invaluable and new experience of working professionally on an arts film in contrast to mainstream television. The location was turned into a studio space for filming, we set up a lighting rig inside the space and blacked out the windows to control film lighting. Changes in light were used to signify a change in narrative time. This was an experimental approach to film narrative structure, the location being the central stage for the telling of different stories of women who passed through this space. In post production we transferred from the original format Digi beta to the new Hi definition format to a 35mm print to get the look and filmic quality achieved in this production.

Distributed by the British Council.
Cube Cinema – screening of Hi Definition films- 2005
Public screening at Bristol Old Vic Studio – June 2004
Screened In competition at Brest European film festival 2004.
Female Eye Festival – Toronto, Canada – June 2005
Moondance Festival – USA 2005


Film Stills :

(click to enlarge)