Log In

Reset Password

Review: That Bloody Woman

I had the opportunity to go to Napier so see the musical theatre show That Bloody Woman.

I went with high expectations as I listen to the New Zealand Radio podcast about suffragette Kate Sheppard, the person the story revolves around. Plus the show had many amazing reviews.

My expectations were exceeded. The show was stunning and was raised far above anything else I had ever watched before.

The show was two hours long with no interval, but I thought the writers Luke Di Somma and Gregory Cooper did a great job at keeping the audience hooked the whole time.

The start of the show was set in the United Kingdom, where Kate was born, and explains her loveless marriage, her love for her best friend’s husband and her eventual introduction to the suffrage movement.

Ninety percent of the show was in original song, explaining Kate's life in New Zealand. This included the death of her 29-year-old son, who had married Wilhelmina Seivwright, whose mother Margaret was a suffragette for the East Coast region at the time.

The show included links to modern politics, with a quick pull of the ponytail adding another great layer.

To portray the story with a five-strong cast and a backing band is incredible and did a great job of connecting to people of all ages.

In my opinion it has never been so fun and interesting to learn about the suffragette movement. Fast-paced, loud music covered a lot in a relatively short amount of time, without over-complicating it at all.

I will never forget the songs and we listened to them the whole way home.

My favourite aspect of the show, other than the music, was costumes. With minimal to no costume changes, the show flowed well and there was always something to look at.

The role of Kate Sheppard, played by Esther Stephens, had especially amazing costuming. She was able to take off certain parts of her starting costume for a completely different look, going from skirt to jeans and shirt to dress. It really gave me goosebumps throughout.

That Bloody Woman was the best thing I’ve ever watched in my life and something I will never forget.

Kate Sheppard: social reformer, suffragist, writer, and first president of National Council of Woman in New Zealand.