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Ruth Gemmell and Emma Paetz star in the world premiere of No Place For A Woman at Theatre503

Ruth Gemmell

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CORDELIA O’Neill’s No Place For A Woman, starring Ruth Gemmell and Emma Paetz, with Elliott Rennie on cello, will receive its world premiere at Theatre503. Directed by Kate Budgen, it runs from May 8 (previews from May 3) to May 27, 2017.

An officer drove me up to gates and told me to wait, that it was no place for a woman.

The wife of a prison camp commandant is throwing a party. She asks her husband for champagne. Instead he brings home a ballet dancer from the camp.

Set towards the end of the Second World War, Cordelia O’Neill’s play combines theatre with live music and dance to tell the extraordinary story of two women, seemingly worlds apart, who become inextricably entwined in their struggle to survive.

Ruth Gemmell’s theatre credits include Midsummer Mischief, Midwinter, Regan in King Lear and Macbeth (RSC), Coram Boy (National Theatre), Sixty Six Books, Helter Skelter/Land of the Dead (Bush Theatre), Ancient Lights (Hampstead Theatre) and The Weir (Royal Court). Her recent TV roles include Octavia Putney in Penny Dreadful, two series of Home Fires and Jen Dugdale in two series of Utopia. Her films include Fever Pitch and Good.

Emma Paetz

Emma Paetz is a recent graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has appeared in You’re Human Like the Rest of Them at the Finborough Theatre and the film Final Girl. Her roles during training included Hester in The Deep Blue Sea, April in Company, Arkadina in The Seagull and Cassandra in The Trojan Women.

Elliott Rennie, who is composing the music for the production, was last seen in the West End in Shakespeare in Love and has recently performed in Pinocchio at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. He has also performed at Southwark Playhouse, Derby Theatre, MAC, Belfast, New Vic, Stoke and toured the UK and abroad with Les Enfants Terribles, as well as working as a composer and M.D. at Derby Theatre, Soho Theatre and extensively with the National Youth Theatre.

A Small Things Theatre production in association with Theatre503, No Place For A Woman is directed by Kate Budgen and designed by Camilla Clarke, with movement direction by Lucy Cullingford, sound design by Ella Wahlstrom and lighting design by Sarah Readman.

Tickets: £15/£12; all previews £10. To book, call the box office on 020 7978 7040 or visit

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm; Wednesday matinee at 3pm Pay What You Can; Saturday matinee at 3pm.

Also at Theatre503: Titas Halder’s Escape the Scaffold (until April 15, 2017).