Unsung - King's Head Theatre

London theatre news: Monday 4 March 2019

London Fringe - Shows

A new play, celebrating history's forgotten women, by Lisa Holdsworth arrives at the King's Head Theatre from 14 to 15 April 2019.
Unsung at the King's Head Theatre

Image courtesy Unsung Collective

Female theatre-makers team up with screenwriter Lisa Holdsworth to produce a new piece of feminist theatre charting the untold stories of the women who made - or ought to have made - British history.

UNSUNG explores the untold stories of Ada Lovelace, Sophia Jex-Blake, Lilian Bailey and Andrea Dunbar, asking why they, and hundreds like them, have been relegated to the footnotes of history.

The show is supported by Arts Council England and the Fenton Arts Trust, and will be at the King's Head Theatre in Islington as part of a national tour from 14 to 15 April.

The development of Unsung began when a group of female theatre-makers, collectively disgruntled with the tangible lack of engaging, multi-faceted female roles in the theatrical canon, came together to make a new show.

They formed a company, Unsung Collective, which in collaboration with award-winning writer Lisa Holdsworth (Call the Midwife, Ackley Bridge, Midsomer Murders) has created Unsung.

Elvi Piper, the show's Director and also Artistic Director of critically acclaimed theatre company Wrongsemble, explains ...

"We wanted to make something that interrogated in a lively and relatable way the underrepresentation of women in history, the theatre, and society at large."

Unsung questions why figures such as Lilian Bader, one of the first women of colour to serve in the British Armed Forces, and Ada Lovelace, whose visionary observations about the potential applications of the Analytical Engine foreshadowed modern day computer coding, are so absent from what we, as a nation, are taught of our history.

Writer Lisa Holdsworth adds ...

"It was so important to us to represent a diversity of disciplines and backgrounds in the characters - from the medical science to the arts, from the Victorian era to the 1980s, from up and down the country".

A sense of modernity is also important to the company, achieved through the use of contemporary dress, physical performance and the ambient electronics of Leeds-based band Peakes, featuring the stirring tones of vocalist Molly Puckering - another distinct female voice.

"Unsung is neither a history lesson, nor a historical drama, but a contemporary piece that explores with immediacy the very modern struggles of four inspiring historical women," explains the Alice Barber, the show's Producer.

She concludes ...

"We will raise public awareness of our protagonists' incredible achievements, draw attention to their lack of recognition, and in doing hope to so take meaningful steps towards altering the narrow perspectives that govern the way in which women are regarded today."

Show listing information


Ada Lovelace.

Sophia Jex-Blake.

Lilian Bader.

Andrea Dunbar.

Heard of any of them?

Neither had we. And we're meant to be a group of feminists.

Unsung explores the untold stories of four pioneering and inspirational female figures from our past, asking why they, and hundreds like them, have been relegated to the footnotes.

They were bold. They caused riots. And it's about time their stories were told.


Ada Lovelace - Olivia Race

Sophia-Jex Blake - Kirsty Pennycook

Lilian Bader - Riana Duce

Andrea Dunbar - Claire-Marie Seddon


Author: Lisa Holdsworth
Director: Elvi Piper (Technical Director - Anne-Louise Fortune)
Designer: Antony Jones
Production: Unsung Collective


King's Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN


From: Sunday 14 April 2019

Closed: Monday 15 April 2019


Standard: £18

Concessions: £15


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Unsung
Tour dates and Unsung website

About London theatre news from ActDrop

We cover all kinds of news stories about theatre in the London area including items about West End, Fringe, Off West End and other venues, as well as new shows coming to the capital, theatre events like scratch nights, theatre festivals and other interesting theatre news that can't be so easily classified!

We'd love to hear from you if you have a news story we can share with theatre-goers.

Just use this form to contact us.

If you are a producer, PR agent or a representative of a theatre company, we have a special page just for you.

And thanks for visiting ActDrop!


Buy tickets for Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre