Drama students from Bay House School visited parliament to perform the original play, ‘How to be a Girl!’, marking International Day of the Girl. Caroline Dinenage MP arranged the event having seen the play performed earlier in the year.

An all-female cast performed in front of an audience comprising MPs, Peers and Government Officials. Staff from the Government Equalities Office, which sits within the Department for Education, were so impressed they invited the cast to return to London to perform at the Department. The performance also won praise at this year’s Totton Festival of Drama, where it was awarded the Trant Trophy.

The play, which was written by former writer in residence at Bay House School, Zella Compton, takes a darkly comic look at media pressure for young women to look and behave a certain way. It is presented as a magazine, and also offers a satirical peak between the covers of How to be a Boy!, highlighting the gendered discrepancies that continue to shape modern British society. The script throws into painfully sharp relief the negative impact of media messages that generate and exploit young women’s insecurities.

Commenting, Caroline said: ‘’How to be a Girl!’ addresses a really important and challenging issue. It’s unsettling in a really productive way, forcing the audience to confront uncomfortable facts about the way modern society operates. I was really proud to welcome my colleagues to the performance, and am thrilled they were as impressed as me. The cast did fantastically and I’m really grateful for the hard work of everyone involved’.