VAULT Festival / Bread and Roses / IWPC
Two young women meet late one night in a car park, and immediately fall in love... while being watched by all their friends, enthusiastic recreational doggers ("it's a hobby, like -- it's mostly social"). Together they explore the boundaries of their sexualities and the world of feminist porn. But this cosy little world is shattered by new proposed legislation, intent on outlawing female pleasure! The valiant lovers become fighters in a battle for their rights and vaginas.
Puppy is an outrageous queer rom-com about dogging, lesbianism, feminism, feminist porn, periods, period porn, protest, the patriarchy, British values, and Nick Clegg.
Written by Naomi Westerman
Directed by Rafaella Marcus
Cast (Vault Festival)
Maya: Lilly Driscoll
Jaz: Rebekah Murrell
Sandra/Rose/porn star/protestor: Maria Austin
Dave/Nick Clegg/Bobby/porn star/protestor: Andrew Lawston
Susan/porn star/protestor: Jo Wickham
Richard/porn star/protestor: Benjamin Chandler
Puppy debuted at VAULT Festival in February 2017, where it sold out its entire run. The production was nominated for the Bread & Roses Emerging Companies Award, and came second; in August the Bread & Roses Theatre staged two performances of Puppy. In October 2018 Puppy will be performed in Santiago, Chile, as part of the International Women's Playwriting Conference.
Puppy was name-checked by both the Guardian and Time Out as a pick of the week. The Stage called it "one of the hits of Vault Festival."
Time Out Online
A quiet beauty, the writing and dialogue really capture the awkward sweetness of a relationship in its early stages. The script is a gem -- the makings of a brilliant piece of theatre.
Puppy is a powerful important piece. A gripping and personal script from Naomi Westerman [who] manages to present us with two very likable but humanly flawed characters [which] makes the whole piece believable and gives it a hook that sinks into your heart.
A play that has the potential to be groundbreaking.
Puppy stacks feminism with porn, sex with sexuality, patriarchy with protest and crams it all into a one act, no mean feat, and yet Westerman weaves these challenging issues together thorough the journey of the two young girls, in a way that doesn’t feel forced but liberating. Brazen writing like Westerman’s should not only be encouraged but heralded as essential.
The it turns out extremely friendly Bronx teenagers helped knock my handbag to the ground, albeit laughing at me, which is fair. But still the tiny thief refused to yield. He's smelled chocolate and would not give up his trophy. Alas the zipper gap was just big enough for his own body, not enough for a bag of Wal*Mart's finest Reeses' peanut butter cups.
Again and again we battled, until finally we managed together to open the zipper. Wallet keys and 15 lipbalms scattered, but all I could see was a fluffy tail bouncing up and down into the distance, bearing an orange bag larger than its owner.
Now, back in London, I feed the squirrels in the park next to my building, so tame they politely wait in circles around me and gentle take cashew nuts directly from my hand. One even knows how to walk on his hind legs.
Telling this story to a group of Americans recently, exclaiming at the difference between American and British squirrels, on Louisiana native remarked, "Yeah, we have some ratchet-ass squ'alls in America."
Ratchet Ass Squ'alls is my band name.