A Room of One's Own

Cliveden Parterre

Come along for an audio experience as part of the National Trust’s 2018 programme ‘Women and Power’. In the exciting new sound project you'll hear the stories and reputations being told about four influential women of Cliveden.

This June, the National Trust’s Cliveden and internationally renowned theatre company Paines Plough, present an outdoor audio drama immersed in Cliveden’s formal gardens. The experience is part of the National Trust’s 2018 programme ‘Women and Power’ and explores the stories and reputations behind four influential women of Cliveden. Inspirational woman of today involved in the project include female writers April De Angelis, Zodwa Nyoni, Sabrina Mahfouz and Alexandra Wood, and visitors will listen to the recorded voices of actor ‘The Crown’s’ Victoria Hamilton, amongst others.

The audio experience, ‘A Room of One’s Own’, will take the listener on a personal discovery of both the impressive formal gardens and the spoken monologues. Visitors will start their audio journey by picking up a headset from the Information Centre in the Grade 1 listed grounds at Cliveden, and following the guidance from there. Those wishing to explore further and enjoy wider surroundings can, as the monologues can be enjoyed in any of Cliveden’s majestic surroundings. The whole experience will last around an hour and best enjoyed while strolling. There’ll also be a souvenir booklet for visitors to take home to dive deeper into Cliveden’s history and learn about the writers and actors involved in the project.

Hear the engrossing, real-life stories of Cliveden's Women on this special audio tour
A room of ones own
Hear the engrossing, real-life stories of Cliveden's Women on this special audio tour

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, so said Virginia Woolf in her 1929 extended essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’. Woolf, a prominent feminist role model, used her essay to reflect on the inequalities between men and women and questioned why marital and educational experiences available to them differed. Woolf, like many of Cliveden’s women, had a progressive outlook on the world and strived to address the socioeconomic imbalance women faced. She noted that during her time, and the times before her, women’s wealth and education played a key role in their ability to creatively and intellectually be heard. She concluded women needed to have ‘a room of their own’, to be appreciated, and that’s exactly what this project has aimed to do.

Cliveden’s women were fortunate enough to not only have rooms to express themselves in, but a whole estate. Elizabeth Villers, Princess Augusta, Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland and first female MP Nancy Astor all contribute to the house’s rich female history.  

Emily Randall, project lead for Cliveden commented, “It’s important that these women’s stories feel relevant and current, as the same issues that have faced women throughout time still appear now… Many brilliant, contentious women have called Cliveden their home, and they deserve to have their voices heard”. She continues, “We are incredibly honoured to be working with Paines Plough. Their ability to produce new theatre that speaks to the heart of all of us inspired this collaboration…” Together with Paines Plough, Cliveden hope the experience, a first of its kind, will be a memorable one.

‘A Room of One’s Own’ launches on Wednesday 13 June and is available until November 2018. It’s part of Cliveden’s year-long programme ‘Misrepresented?’ which tells the story of Cliveden’s four women through panels and pick-ups, daily talks and garden walks, interviews and talks, commissioned music pieces and exhibitions – there’s always something to celebrate.

‘A Room of One’s Own’ launches on Wednesday 13 June and is available until November 2018. It’s part of Cliveden’s year-long programme ‘Misrepresented?’ which tells the story of Cliveden’s four women through panels and pick-ups, daily talks and garden walks, interviews and talks, commissioned music pieces and exhibitions – there’s always a way to celebrate.

Misrepresented

Women and Power: Misrepresented?

From an outdoor exhibition to an immersive audio experience, we're telling the real-life inspiring stories of Cliveden's women, from past to present.