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THE FEMALE GAZE: Women in Theatre

Sat 21 Jan - Fri 1 Sep


THE FEMALE GAZE: Women in Theatre

Two decades of analogue Theatre Photography by Sheila Burnett

British Alternative Theatre 1987 onwards


By appointment only. For an appointment please contact Chats Palace Administration 0208 533 0227.

“I have curated a selection of photographs from my archive of negatives dating back to the early 80’s. This particular archive is dedicated to women in theatre starting in 1987 with the infamous, irresistible Drill Hall Pantos.

My chosen profession became theatre photography after performing and touring with The Pip Simmons Theatre Group 1974-1984. Women’s theatre companies were seizing the moment making the 80’s an exciting fertile time for the performing arts.

Theatre photography was a male domain, these companies were looking for theatrical alternatives Including production photographers. It was my good fortune to work with many of these companies who created a much needed counterculture with gutsy names such as:

Monstrous Regiment, Cunning Stunts, Beryl and the Perils, Spare Tyre, Split Britches, Hairy Maries, Clean Break, 

Sensible Footwear, Scarlet Theatre, Hesitate and Demonstrate and Women’s Theatre Group later Sphinx.

I cut my teeth on these wonderful shows and now have an alternative Off-West End theatre archive going back 40 years.

Thank you, Chats Palace for a chance to show two decades of this early work.

Photos are digitised from the original negatives printed in my digital dark room”.

Sheila Burnett Jan 2023


Photocredit: Seagull/Scarlet Theatre 1987



Sat 21 Jan
Fri 1 Sep
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Chats Palace Arts Centre
42-44 Brooksby's Walk
London, E9 6DF United Kingdom
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