Snatches: Women-based TV show’s name ‘amused BBC’

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Vicky Featherstone, the Royal Court Theatre’s artistic director, said the BBC were “amused” by the name Snatches

A theatre director has spoken of her disbelief that the BBC approved the name Snatches for her new TV series.

Vicky Featherstone, the Royal Court Theatre’s artistic director, has curated eight monologues for BBC Four to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.

On the word Snatches - which can be a derogatory term for a vagina - she told the Radio Times magazine: “It’s reclaiming the word, isn’t it?”

She said BBC Four “were rather amused by it”.

“It was my first idea, and I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to let it happen,'” she said.

But it was allowed and Featherstone says it “fits very well”.

“Our monologues are literally snatches of women’s lives but a lot of those stories are about people and issues that aren’t really known, so we’re reclaiming the history and we’re reclaiming the word,” she told the magazine.

The eight short 15-minute episodes, directed by Vanessa Caswill and Rachna Suri, have been penned by writers including Abi Morgan and Tanika Gupta.

Atonement actress Romola Garai, Downton Abbey star Siobhan Finneran and Three Girls actress Liv Hill are among the stars involved.

One of the monologues is based on rape within marriage, while another is about an actress’s experience meeting a producer.

The series, which will air this summer as part of the broadcaster’s Hear Her season, marks the centenary of women over the age of 30, and who owned property, being able to vote in the UK.

The Suffragists – were first to organise, forming local societies in the 1860s

The Suffragettes – were active for just 10 years after splitting from the Suffragists in 1903

Suffragists – focused on middle-class women

Suffragettes – encouraged working-class women to protest

Suffragists – held public speaking events, lobbied MPs and wrote petitions

Suffragettes – disrupted meetings, vandalised art and buildings and were often arrested

Suffragists – dinner parties!

Suffragettes – hunger strikes!

Everyone organised marches!

Suffragists – successfully built support in parliament over many years

Suffragettes – increased publicity and re-energised the cause but also sparked a backlash

Then in World War One, women took new roles in factories and beyond…

…which made denying them voting rights harder than ever

After 50 years of women standing up and speaking out…

Parliament finally passed a law giving some women the vote in 1918

Featherstone said working on the series had been a wake-up call in terms of gender equality.

“I’m an incredibly optimistic person,” she said.

“But I think the shock, for all of us who worked on Snatches, is that things maybe haven’t changed as much for women as we thought they had.

“Snatches shows how things can shift. We just have to make sure they don’t shift backwards.”

Snatches: Moments From Women’s Lives starts on Monday, 18 June on BBC Four