Emily - an English language Nô

Handa Noh Theatre Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance Royal Holloway, University of London Egham TW20 0EX

Thursday, May 24 2018 from 07:00 pm to 09:00 pm

Written by Ashley Thorpe.

Composed by Richard Emmert.


This newly written piece explores the legacy of Royal Holloway alumnus and suffragette Emily Wilding Davison's death at the Epsom Derby in 1913.

Nô is a traditional Japanese theatre form dating from the fourteenth century that uses mask, dance, music and chant to tell stories about famous figures from the past.

Written for performance on Royal Holloway’s own Nô stage, this English-language Nô proffers an act of commemoration for all those involved in the 1913 incident - not only Emily herself, but two players who have been sidelined in the commentary, the jockey Herbert Jones, and the King's horse Anmer.

Japanese Nô is a surprisingly apt dramatic form for exploring Emily Wilding Davison's legacy. As she herself wrote in 1910 following a visit to the Japan-British Exhibition in London, "There is no doubt whatever that Japan is the pioneer of the Orient. [...] It is now running the most advanced nations of the West close in the matter of modern reform."

The Nô is produced as a response to the College naming its library after Wilding Davison, and forms part of Royal Holloway's Suffrage 2018 programme of events to mark 100 years since the extension of voting rights.

This is a work-in-progress performance, featuring students from Royal Holloway, as well as participants from Noh Training Project UK, which is also held at the College each year. For details see:

See website