Historic rape trial drama on stage in South Yorkshire proves still very relevant today

A powerful play looking at issues around rape dating back 400 years is on tour in South Yorkshire.
Breach Theatre, It's True, It's True, It's True
©The Other RichardBreach Theatre, It's True, It's True, It's True
©The Other Richard
Breach Theatre, It's True, It's True, It's True ©The Other Richard

Ellice Stevens, the star of It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, said: “Basically, it’s a restaging of a 15th-century rape trial involving Artemisia Gentileschi, who was raped by her painting tutor.”

The play, created by Breach Theatre, is based on transcripts of the Italian trial but uses modern language and an all-female cast. It is an award-winning winning play and one of the undisputed hits of the 2018 and 2019 Edinburgh Festivals.

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Ellice, who plays Artemisia, said: “I thought she's amazing, such an incredible woman and the way she talks is brilliant. It’s an interesting story to stage.”

Ellice said the #Metoo stories of women revealing sexual abuse and harassment began to break after they had begun work. “We were making the show through that moment, so it became even more relevant.”

The 15-year-old victim was basically put on trial and attempts made to destroy her reputation. The story highlights how little has changed for women since 1612, said Ellice.

But the company were clear that they wanted to tell Artemisia’s story rather than tackle huge issues. “By te lling her story in a way we thought was right, it would do those things.”

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True will be performed at Cast in Doncaster on October 15- 16 and Theatre Deli, Sheffield on October 17.

Full tour dates at www.breachtheatre.com