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‘My Generation’: Life in the English Hinterland

She’s done everything from Eastenders to Bollywood and now popular British-Indian actress and socialite Sheena Bhattessa is making waves in a play exploring the socio-political upheavals of the English heartland.

‘My Generation’ currently running at the West Yorkshire Playhouse is the story of a family and a city through 40 years of alternative culture.

Directed by Alice Nutter – formerly a member of the anarchist/alternative pop group Chumbawamba – the play examines the impact on the lives of ordinary people of myriad issues; from the fear, tension and radical feminism of Leeds during the horrors of the Yorkshire Ripper trials, the disillusionment of the Miner’s Strike that crippled the British economy, the drug-fuelled hedonism of the 1990’s through the troubles caused by the 2008 global economic crisis.

Accompanying the rather serious subject matter is pop music from each of the four decades.

Divided into four Acts, each section is told from the point of view of one of four family members.

Bhattessa plays a dreadlocked feminist lashing out at the near-patriarchal culture that she lives in and demanding equal rights for women. 

Running alongside the production is an exhibition of photographs by Andrew Medcalf and Andrew Bannerman-Bayles, tracing the lives of the squatters, punks, feminists and students in Leeds between the years of 1984 and 1991; providing an insight into the real lives represented in the play.

– Images courtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse.  For listings, visit www.wyp.org.uk

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