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Patricia Gets Ready: Play that shatters stereotype of domestic abuse victim as 'broken woman' comes to Harlow

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A powerful, award-winning play which tackles domestic abuse arrives at Harlow Playhouse fresh from its five-star run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London theatres.

Written by Martha Watson Allpress, Patricia Gets Ready (For a Date With the Man That Used To Hit Her) is touring the UK in May, stopping off at Harlow on Friday the 13th.

Yasmin Dawes plays Patricia, "bringing to life this striking show which aims to shatter the weathered stereotype of the 'broken woman’ and instead presents a survivor in all her colours".

Patricia Gets Ready comes to Harlow Playhouse (56300199)
Patricia Gets Ready comes to Harlow Playhouse (56300199)

The story centres on Patricia, who has spent a year crafting a "kick-ass speech" while recovering from an abusive relationship. But when she bumps into her ex on the street and accidentally agrees to dinner with him that night, she's got some big decisions to make: What to wear? What to say? And whether to go?

The audience join Patricia as she gets ready for the date, tells stories of her past, how it has affected her present and looks honestly at her future.

Martha said that she wrote it as a form of self-care. "After exiting an abusive relationship, I knew I needed to do some healing but had no idea how," she said.

Actor Yasmin Dawes takes on the lead role of Patricia (56300205)
Actor Yasmin Dawes takes on the lead role of Patricia (56300205)

"Looking into self-care post trauma, a lot of what I found felt reductive; face masks, long baths, gin... So then I turned to movies, TV shows and theatre; trauma survivors in art were frail, apologetic and diminutive. But there I was, still funny, still enjoying sex, still functioning. And so I decided to stop searching and start creating."

The show has won numerous awards, including the Charlie Harthill Award with Pleasance Theatre in 2021, The Infallibles Theatrical Excellence Award in 2020 as well as receiving an OnComm Commendation from the Offies in 2020. In giving it five stars, The Guardian described it as "bold and beautiful" while Broadway World said it was "a poetic and piercing insight into the mind of an abused woman".

For ticket information visit http://harlowplayhouse.co.uk/.

Playwright Martha Watson Allpress (56300202)
Playwright Martha Watson Allpress (56300202)

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