Storyhouse Women Weekend 2019: full line-up!

Storyhouse has announced the line-up for Storyhouse Women weekend 2019.

Between 26 – 28 April, Storyhouse’s annual festival, Storyhouse Women will bring together leading voices across politics, broadcasting, art, activism, literature, sport and business for a programme of talks, debates, storytelling, poetry, dance, music, cabaret and workshops all exploring what it is to be a girl or a woman today.

Highlight events include:

Actor, activist and author Rose McGowan headlines the festival with a discussion on her memoir / manifesto Brave, whilst co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer will perform her show FFS.

BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin will chair a panel discussion on the festival’s themes alongside BBC radio producer Ngunan Adamu and members from Storyhouse’s Young Leaders. Louise will be signing copies of her acclaimed book Dare to Tri afterwards.

Broadcaster Kellie Maloney will discuss her gender reassignment with Kate Hutchinson from the charity Diversity Role Models, that actively seeks to prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in UK schools.

Panel discussion topics will feature; domestic violence, rape culture, the notion of consent, overcoming addiction and activist Maz Saleem will tell her story during a panel focused on Islamophobia. There will be a session on careers and how discrimination is still affecting women in the workforce and eco-friendly, Chester based toy shop Weasel and The Bug will talk about the importance of challenging gender stereotypes.

10-Minute Tales returns, a panel of diverse speakers will each discuss a story or issue affecting them, panels include Chris Matheson MP and his campaign to change smear test legislation, Chester soroptimists on their work with families and children in the Philippines, Cancer Research UK Ambassador Chinwe Mirian on her public health research and McDonald’s UK Football Mum of The Year 2018 Helen Atkinson on her inspiring story.

A marketplace will showcase a range of organisations including Chester Sexual Assault services, Girl Gang HQ, Airbus Women’s Football, SisterHub, Chester Soroptimists and Chester and District Samaritans.

Workshops include hula-hooping, arts and crafts, life coaching and Chester-based Louise Dudley will launch her idea for a series of Storyhouse Women workshops on Feminist Manifestos. Plus, journalist and brand manager Michela Di Carlo will deliver a masterclass on writing for the web.

A range of performances will be presented on the Storyhouse stage. University of Chester’s dance society will perform a stunning piece of contemporary dance. Stories of young carers will be told in a theatre piece by Assemble Theatre Company and a unique series of monologues written by local writer Jan Bengree and performed by Against The Grain Theatre Company will be performed in the Garret. Celebrated cabaret act Alabaster Queen and burlesque artist Cece Sinclair join the bill, DJ sets from Aura Sounds and singer songwriters Alice Watkinson and Lucy Bradburn will perform live.

Celebrated poet Jay Délise aka Jordan Delise Fleming will headline a morning of live poetry. The festival poet-in-residence Lianne Futia will read her poetry reflecting experiences of the weekend. There will also be an exclusive podcast documenting the festival created by Rama and Parsley: former hosts of flagship local radio show Flipside Weekly available to download.

Nicola Haigh, community and education manager said:

Storyhouse Women Weekend is a celebration of what it means to be a woman or a girl in the world today, and a chance to explore and discuss topics that affect anyone who identifies as a woman or a girl. We want to create a safe space to discuss and tackle these issues together. We have a line-up of incredible women who want to share their stories and experiences with Chester, and events to inspire and enable us to create change.

Tickets for Rose McGowan and Catherine Mayer are on sale now.

Festival passes for all other events are £20 for a weekend and £15 for a day. Under 26s save £5 per pass, and there are limited FREE tickets for under 19s and women who don’t feel they can afford to attend.

To find out more and book visit