Main content

Free Thinking: Washing in public. Sir Peter Hall (1930 - 2017)

Public pools, the "steamie" & the Turkish bath are explored by Matthew Sweet and guests as Scottish theatres host a 30th anniversary tour of Tony Roper's play set in a washhouse.

Public pools, the "steamie" and the Turkish bath; debates about hygiene and the role and revival of these public spaces are explored by Matthew Sweet and guests as Scottish theatres host a 30th anniversary tour of Tony Roper's play depicting 1950s Glasgow women washing their clothes in a public washhouse.

Joining Matthew will be Chris Renwick, author of 'Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State', and Claire Launchbury, who has studied women's use of public baths in Middle Eastern cities.
We'll also be introduced to the joy of the shmeiss at London's Porchester Spa with columnist and steam-rooms enthusiast Matthew Norman.

Following the announcement today of the death of Peter Hall, we'll hear an extract from an interview he recorded with Philip Dodd for Night Waves in 2011, and David Warner remembers being directed by Peter Hall in a landmark production of Hamlet in 1965.
The full recording of Peter Hall's interview with Philip Dodd is available on the Free Thinking website.

The Steamie tours to Kirckaldy, Aberdeen, Dundee, Ayr, Inverness, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh between September 6th and November 11th. It features Libby McArthur, Mary McCusker, Steven McNicoll, Carmen Pieraccini and Fiona Wood.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Release date:

Available now

44 minutes

Podcast