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WOW! Seven shows to see at the Southbank's Women of the World festival

By Alice Saville

The Southbank Centre is hosting an eclectic line-up of fierce, feminist shows as part of its Women of the World celebration. Here’s what to see

1. Joan

Medieval French saint Jeanne d’Arc has her pristine halo tarnished in this earthy cabaret show, which resets her story in a northern nightclub. Performer Lucy Jane Parkinson magically transforms between genders, and gets the audience whooping along as she takes down those dastardly English soldiers.
Blue Room, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall. Wed Mar 7. £15.

2. Butch Monologues

Get an insight into life as a butch woman at this collection of true stories, performed by dapper collective The Drakes. They’ll explore bravado, sex, gender politics and the endless struggle to find a shirt that fits perfectly.
Royal Festival Hall. Wed Mar 7. £15.

3. Mouthpiece

Ever heard of vocal fry? No, it’s not an unusually chatty chip, it’s a term for a much-criticised nasal tone of voice, associated with young women. Two performers from Canadian collective Quote Unquote recreate a single woman’s inner monologue in this piece, which shows how language and gender intersect.
Blue Room, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall. Thu Mar 8-Fri Mar 9. £15.

4. Manwatching

This monologue has set Edinburgh Fringe audiences astir with its frank and frankly ridiculous insights into female sexuality. It’s the handiwork of an anonymous female playwright, who gets a different, totally unprepared male comedian to read the script each time.
Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall. Fri Mar 9-Sat Mar 10. £15.

5. Fangirls

The inspiration behind Yve Blake’s musical was a 13-year-old girl who told her that ‘I’d slit someone’s throat to be with the man I love’ (She was talking about Harry Styles.) ‘Fangirls’ is based on hundreds of interviews with teenagers from the fevered world of One Direction fandom. Hear their stories of love and dangerous obsession, crafted into sweet vocal harmonies.
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall. Sat Mar 10. Free.

6. Yvette

Obsessed with garage remixes and a boy from school she can’t have, Yvette’s an ordinary Neasden teen. Until her life is torn apart by a predatory ‘uncle’. Playwright and performer Urielle Klein-Mekongo soundtracks her intense, moving coming-of-age tale using beats and loops.
Blue Room, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall. Sat Mar 10-Sun Mar 11. Only with festival pass (£30-£80).

7. Pecs

If you haven’t drawn yourself a moustache with an eyebrow pencil you haven’t lived. Get an intro to the world of drag kings with this free performance from drag collective Pecs. They’ll send up macho stereotypes as they sing, lip-synch and preen along to a masc-tastic soundtrack. Flinging your bra at the stage is strictly optional.
Riverside Terrace Café, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall. Sun Mar 11. Free.
Women of the World festival runs Wed Mar 7-Sun Mar 11

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