Age of Arousal

Factory Theatre opens season with stripped-down production of Linda Griffiths's Victorian-age feminist play

Presented by Factory Theatre
Written by Linda Griffiths
Directed by Jennifer Brewin

Age of Arousal. Featuring Juno Rinaldi, Julie Stewart, Leah Doz and Aviva Armour-Ostroff. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

Love takes many forms in the late Linda Griffiths' Age of Arousal, a brilliant play about suffragettes set in 1880s London, now on stage as part of Factory Theatre's 2015/16 season. Directed by Jennifer Brewin, the production is quite timely as women's rights are a hot topic of discussion in popular culture these days. From Emma Watson's speech at the launch of the UN's "He For She" campaign last year, to Jennifer Lawrence's recent Lenny Letter essay on the gender wage gap, and Carey Mulligan's new film Suffragette, celebrities are voicing their opinions on equality and the world is (hopefully) listening.

In Griffiths's play, ex-suffragette Mary Barfoot (Julie Stewart) runs a secretarial school with her lover Rhoda Nunn (Marie Beath Badian). But when spinster sisters Alice (Juno Rinaldi), Virginia (Aviva Armour-Ostroff) and their pretty younger sister Monica (Leah Doz) show up, along with Mary's charismatic cousin Everard (Sam Kalileh), politics and passions erupt as each character must confront their professed ideals. The result is a witty, thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of gender roles and the power of sisterhood. 

Brewin gets strong performances out of the cast overall. Rinaldi and Armour-Ostroff are especially watchable as newly awakened "odd-women" attempting to provide for themselves for the first time in their lives, while Doz captivates as the sexually-aware-to-a-fault Monica. The chemistry between Stewart's Mary and Badian's Rhoda is less than believable, but individually they carry their own, along with Kalileh's Everard.

Although the quality of this bare production leaves something to be desired (the lighting in particular needs work), Age of Arousal offers much to satisfy the head and heart. Catch it until November 8 at Factory Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2015-10-20 - Sun, 2015-11-08
Our rating:


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