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Theatre company uses life size puppets in Flux, a show about women in a male dominated world

By Angela Cole

A stage show using life size puppets as its stars comes to a Kent stage this week.

Flux by Smoking Apples Theatre company explores how puppetry can express the objectification of the female form.

Last year's centenary of Women’s Suffrage spurred the company into challenging themselves to create the piece.

Kate and Alan at the record store in Flux Picture: The Other Richard
Kate and Alan at the record store in Flux Picture: The Other Richard

Meet Kate: An 1980s pop loving, vinyl collecting, nuclear physicist. In a male-dominated world, she is determined to make her voice heard. But in the wake of an unexpected discovery, can she balance the personal and professional?

Inspired by interviews with female scientists, Flux charts the story of Kate, a young physicist burning with potential. She struggles to be noticed until a male colleague uncovers her brilliance and pushes her forward. But, just as Kate begins to excel professionally, the balance between life and work suddenly flips.

But the story is told with puppets, shadow and lighting and a thumping 1980s soundtrack, telling Kate’s story as she navigates what it means to be a woman in a male dominated environment.

Flux features life size puppets like Kate Picture: The Other Richard
Flux features life size puppets like Kate Picture: The Other Richard

Flux has been developed in London and Oxford and draws inspiration from female figures from the world of science, including Lise Meitner, a physicist who discovered nuclear fission in the late 1930s but whose work was undermined by her colleague Otto Hahn - later awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery.

The show has been supported by a range of groups including Arts Council England, the Institute of Physics.

It is at the EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge on Thursday, April 25. It will also be at the Marlowe Studio in Canterbury on Saturday, May 18.

To book visit emftheatre.com or call 01732 304154. For the Canterbury show visit marlowetheatre.com or call 01227 787787.

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