Site navigation

Victorian Women in Bed

9 Jun 2019 14:00 -15:30

Adults: Admission £8 (including entry to Sunday's event)

Part of the first ever Weekend of Words at Victoria Baths

The Manchester premiere of a series of four short plays by Janet Goddard, the performance will take place in front of a seated audience in the Females Pool.

Victorian Women in Bed

So much goes on in bed and Charlotte Bell Nichols (nee Bronte), Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mrs Emma Lavinia Hardy are Victorian Women who are known for having taken to their beds for a lengthy period for one reason or another. 

The bed is a permanent feature of the plays while the women, performed by actors carefully fitted to their roles, brings a new insight into the life and mind of a Victorian bedbound woman. Each play is twenty minutes long and includes the women, their associates and family members, who pop up every now and again during the play. 

While the four short plays open our eyes to these unique women, they also allow us to review the position of women in a world largely dominated by and favouring men, and how bed, as well as being a place for liaison and coupling, can become a place of sanctuary and solitude, where a woman could ironically imagine herself protected from the diminishing and imprisoning conventions imposed on her - and engineer ways to subtly - or, in the case of Florence, blatantly, break the rules. 

Victorian Women in Bed has previously been performed in London at the Calder Bookshop and Theatre. 


Writer Janet Goddard is best known for her plays Her Sister's Tongue (1997 The Lyric Hammersmith) and The Engineer's Corset (2015 The Redgrave Theatre, Bristol). She has worked as a theatre and youth theatre director, a TV script editor and writer (Brookside, Eldorado, Eastenders) and casting director (Priest 1992, written by Jimmy McGovern) and as a film producer (Letter to Brezhnev 1985).


You're welcome to stay after the play and join Janet for a short talk/Q&A on researching for historical writing and writing for the stage. 

TICKETS (See Links below for Tickets)

£8, includes free entry to Sunday's Talks, Tales and Tours event - just present your ticket at the entrance on Sunday anytime from 11am. 

Guided Tours are £5 and these are bookable in advance.


Enquiry Form

Make an enquiry

Please complete all the fields marked with an * below to make an enquiry.

  • (This question prevents spam programs from automatically submitting this form)