Arts & Culture, Opinion

6th March 2020

Phenomenal Women – International Women’s Day!

Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the view of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students.

This Sunday, 8th March, is International Women’s Day. Its a day to celebrate all the badass women in the world, ranging from actresses, authors, celebrities, and even you women reading this!

Here at LGSM, we are shining a light on women who deserve more recognition for the amazing things they do!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

The first phenomenal woman is a triple-threat West-End actress, singer and author.

Career Highlights – Acting

Carrie Hope Fletcher worked extremely hard to achieve her dream role of Eponine in musical ‘Les Miserables’ in 2013, which won her the first of many What’s On Stage Awards. She returned to Les Mis to play Fantine in the All-Star Concert Version alongside none other than Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, resulting in completing over 1000 shows of Les Mis!

Since then she has honed her craft to achieve some amazing goals. She landed her first-ever lead West End role in the revival of ‘Heathers: The Musical’ in 2018, as well as other productions like ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ UK Tour and Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’ Arena Tour. She was also in ‘The Addams Family’ UK Tour and is playing the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brand new production of ‘Cinderella’ later this year.

Career Highlights – Writing and Singing

Fletcher has also written five novels, with her approved retelling of the classic ‘Ballet Shoes’ being published September 2020. She has released her own album ‘When The Curtain Falls’. This woman is truly a force of nature.

Career Highlights – Advocating

Not only is she an amazing actress and author, but she is also a hugely inspirational advocate for body confidence and how women should love who they are, no matter their shape, and not conform to social standards portrayed on Instagram. Fletcher is shining her love and hope into the world through everything that she is determined to accomplish. She is without a doubt one of my favourite role models in the world right now.

Follow Fletcher on YouTuber here and on Instagram here.

Marisha Wallace

Another incredibly talented West-End actress is Marisha Wallace. This woman has a powerhouse of a voice that mesmerises every audience she stands in front of.

Career Highlights – Acting and Singing

Wallace moved to the UK to play the life-time role of Effie White in Dreamgirls on West End in 2017. I was lucky enough to get to hear Wallace belt out ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ in a collaborative concert over the Christmas period, and oh boy, has that woman got some lungs. Everyone in the audience was deadly silent listening and watching her pour her soul into every word. And everyone gave her a rapturous standing ovation.

Since Dreamgirls, she originated the role of sassy Becky, in Hit musical ‘Waitress’ in the West End. Other highlights of her amazing career are her upcoming role as Motormouth in ‘Hairspray’ in April 2020 and her solo-concert tour in March 2020. ‘The Beginning’, Wallace’s new single, is available to download on March 7th!

Catch Wallace on tour this month here, and follow her on Instagram here.

Nikita Gill

Not all girls are made of sugar/ And spice and all things nice…/ These are princesses made of valour and poison alike/ And they are here to hold court as your queens.

Nikita Gill

Career Highlights – Writing

Next is feminist poet, Nikita Gill. Gill has made a name for herself in the poetry world, as she has transformed her poems from simple Instagram posts into astonishing published collections. Gill is up there with some of the best female poets of today.

She has a beautiful, lyrical writing style that empowers women to achieve their best and love themselves. One of her best collections is ‘Fierce Fairytales’, where she expresses how you need no knight-in-shining-armour to save you from the tower. Instead, you can save yourself and wait on no man. These poems twist the fairytale conventions on their heads, defying the damsel-in-distress stereotype and revealing how badass women can truly be.

Other collections Gill has released are ‘Wild Embers: Poems of rebellion’, ‘fire and beauty’, and ‘Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters’.

Follow Gill here to receive your daily dose of empowering tales to brighten up your day.

Miriam-Teak Lee

Miriam-Teak Lee is killing the game currently. This West-End actress has recently won the What’s On Stage Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Juliet in the brand-new show, & Juliet.

Career Highlights – Acting and Singing

Lee found fame in the Original West End production of ‘Hamilton’, and she’s back originating the role of Juliet in the musical based on Shakespeare’s beloved play. Lee provides a sassy, kind, loving, witty, intelligent Juliet who decides to live and ‘get a life’.

Lee’s phenomenal performance and amazing voice, alongside with Max Martin’s greatest hits, that moved the show to the Shaftesbury Theatre for its extended run to October 2020! She is also nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2020 Olivier Awards.

Lee inspires girls and women alike to become the narrator of your own story, despite what fate had set out for you!

Follow Lee on Twitter here.

Florence Pugh

Rising movie actress Florence Pugh is taking the silver screen by storm.

Career Highlights – Acting

Pugh made her acting debut in a film called The Falling in 2014. In only six years, she has progressed to winning a BIFA Award for Best Actress in Lady Macbeth (2016), starring in the critically acclaimed horror movie Midsommar (2019) and portraying a more lovable and sympathetic Amy March in Little Women (2020). For the latter, she received Academy Award and BAFTA Award nominations – an amazing achievement for the 24-year-old to receive in just six years!

Pugh is about to dive into the madness that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe as she stars alongside Scarlett Johansson, as Yelena Belova, in the upcoming, much anticipated ‘Black Widow’ movie. This is set to be released in May 2020.

It seems that Pugh can only go up from here!

Felicity Jones

Already a well-established actress, I believe that Felicity Jones doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves.

Career Highlights – Acting

Jones has starred in many films since 2006, with highlights such as Northanger Abbey (2007), The Tempest (2010) and True Story (2015). However, it was her performance in Like Crazy (2011) that pushed her more into the limelight, winning her awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Since then, Jones has made her name for herself as being quite a versatile actress. In 2014 she starred in the massively critically acclaimed, ‘The Theory of Everything’ alongside Eddie Redmayne, earning her much deserved nominations for Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA and Academy Awards. Her newly increased fame landed her roles in the heartbreaking, ‘A Monster Calls’ (2016), as fan-favourite Jyn Erso in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016), and as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ‘On The Basis Of Sex’ (2018).

Despite this hugely successful CV, Jones is slept on slightly for just how talented she is. She deserves so much more recognition for her incredible performances.

Scarlett Curtis

Our third author on this list is Scarlett Curtis and her curation of essays from many celebrities in book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink.

Career Highlights – Writing

Curtis is a fantastic inspiration for women, as over the years her activism has stood up for the rights of women and equality. She began her career writing for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph. In 2017, Curtis founded her feminist activist collective The Pink Protest which produced campaigns such as #FreePeriod to end period poverty.

Her first anthology, ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink;, was published in 2018, which includes 52 essays from celebrities, such as Keira Knightley, on what feminism means to them. The book was a massive success – it became a Sunday Times bestseller for two consecutive weeks, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young Adult Book of the Year and was nominated for 2019 British Book Award! Furthermore, all the royalties went to the United Nations charity Girl Up to help advocate for female equality.

This book is brilliant, inspiring and empowering for all the women in the world. It is a must-read!

These phenomenal women deserve all the love and appreciation for the incredibly hard work they do fighting for women and equality and representing badass women on page, stage, and screen. Hopefully, they make you feel inspired and determined to achieve anything you set your mind to.

Happy International Women’s Day!