XAP will be performing at Wandsworth Arts Fringe in May 2019, to commemorate the radical feminist, activist and social reformer, Charlotte Despard (1844-1939). After becoming widowed, Despard moved from her comfortable Surrey home to Nine Elms, then one of the poorest districts of London, now the site of the new US Embassy. There she set up her front room as a clinic for local mothers and babies, and campaigned for better conditions in workhouses and factories. She joined the Women’s Suffrage movement, founded the Women’s Freedom League and campaigned throughout Europe against fascism. Declared “a dangerous subversive”, she was sent to Holloway prison twice. Even into her 90s she continued travelling and campaigning for social justice.
Liz Sergeant initiated this project in 2012, and will lead XAP’s performances in Nine Elms, where Despard lived and worked. Performances: 3rd, 11th and 19th May, see Wandsworth Arts Fringe programme for more details.