Directed by: Renny Rye
Written by: Fay Weldon
Other cast: Anastasia Hille, Daniela Nardini, Fidelis Morgan, Annabelle Apsion, Kelle Spry, Jayne Ashbourne, Tom Mannion, Tilly Edwards, Ronan Vibert, Gerard Logan, Clare Holman, Richard Dillane, Holly Stedman, Emma Deigman, Keith-Lee Castle, Tara Hugo, Rosemary Frankau, Janet Amsden, Damian Dibben, Virginia Denham
Premiere date: 16/07/1998
Running time: 240
Daniela Nardini heads the cast in Fay Weldon's wicked drama about a feisty group of women who decide to set up a feminist publishing house in the 1970s, charting the drama of their lives up until the late 1990s.
Primrose Hill, London, 1971: Stephie, her husband Hamish and their two boys, host a meeting for women – this is ’70s consciousness-raising in action.
In comes the young housewife Zoe with her three-year-old daughter Saffron; the aptly named Daffy who is dipping her toe into feminism; the powerful and brilliant Alice and the driving- force behind the group, the charismatic Layla.
During a night of fierce arguments, naked dancing and some illicit snogging, they decide to launch Medusa, a feminist publishing house.
By the summer of 1976 Medusa is in full flow, although Layla and Stephie row constantly over the types of books they publish.
Layla is tiring of their loyalty to tedious ‘wimmin’s issues’ books whereas Stephie is committed to the cause.
Zoe sends a few sample pages of her novel to Stephie at Medusa. Her domineering husband Bull is furious, seeing her writing as an indulgence and a sign of neglecting their children, Saffron and Samson.
In a fit of rage he burns her script page by page; when Stephie calls to say she liked the writing, he lies to his wife, telling her Stephie thought it self-pitying.
Seven years have passed since Zoe’s death and her daughter Saffron, now 15, begins a personal quest into her suicide.
Her father, Bull, has fallen apart; he’s lost his job and is hitting the bottle so heavily that Saffron is left to run the family home.
Layla decides she wants out of the feminist publishing business and proposes that Medusa be sold to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, Saffron decides that it is time for revenge.
Sophia plays the teenage Saffron Meadows