Marie Stopes on Portland

MARIE Stopes was one of the most influential and controversial women of the 20th century, so it is amazing that Escaping The Storm, produced by the Dorset-based AsOne Theatre is the first play about her life. The winter tour continues at the Regal, Minehead, on 6th February.

One hundred years since Dr Stopes published her book Married Love, which brought the issue of birth control into the public domain, the play tells the largely unknown story of the birth control pioneer and her years living on Portland.

In this new play, by Peter John Cooper, Stopes (played by AsOne’s director and founder Jane McKell) has bought the Higher Lighthouse as a refuge from the storms battering her on the mainland. How will she change the islanders’ ways of thinking and how will she be changed by Portland?

There are further performances on  8th February at Princess Theatre, Burnham-on-Sea, 9th at Palace Theatre, Paignton, and  on 14th February at Weymouth Pavilion.

The play has been produced in association with Portland Museum Trust, Pennsylvania Castle, Portland Quarry Trust, and Atlantic Academy, with funding from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery.