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Episode 6

Episode 6 of 10

Laura Wade eavesdrops on historic conversations between men and women to explore thorny gender issues today
6 Dr Sophie Duncan on Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion

Laura Wade eavesdrops on conversations between men and women from the past to examine some of today's thorniest gender issues

Recent high profile campaigns around issues such as sexual consent, harassment and assault, the pay gap and power imbalances between men and women have encouraged many of us to re-examine everyday gender relations. In ten programmes covering the last 500 years, playwright Laura Wade eavesdrops on encounters between men and women in great literary works to shed light on some of today’s most pressing issues.

6. The relationship between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion reveals far more about early 20th century gender issues than its frothy film version, My Fair Lady, might suggest. Dr Sophie Duncan from the University of Oxford discusses fears about the growing power of women and of the working classes - even worse when embodied in one individual! - in 1914 Britain, and draws comparison with coercive control issues today.

With readings by real-life couple Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti

Laura Wade is an Olivier Award-winning playwright, the author of “Posh” and “Home, I’m Darling”. Her recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished story, “The Watsons”, transfers to the West End in 2020.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

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14 minutes

Last on

Mon 17 Feb 2020 13:45