About this event:
- Event type:
- Booking required | In-person
- £12 / £24 pay-it-forward / £6 concessions
- Bishopsgate Institute, London EC2M 4QH
Bishopsgate Institute and Guildhall School present a modern beauty pageant of the beautiful women who find themselves facing the challenges that ‘middle age’ brings.
Join our lovely midlife ladies as they wow you with their perimenopausal beauty, astonishing acts of multitasking, weight lifting the heavy ‘mental load’ to compete for the ultimate prize and be crowned Ms Midlife.
You will witness the glory and wonder of what women actually get up to once they get beyond 40, hit that glass ceiling, try to juggle household upkeep and get that World Book Day costume ready whilst brain fog threatens to sabotage their very existence.
Inspired by Bishopsgate Institute’s archives from the Wages for Housework movement and the Velvet Fist Women’s Choir, we will sing, perform and dance (joint-pain allowing) our way through the Ms Midlife rounds.
You will meet our beauty pageant entrants Ms Perimenopause, Ms ‘Just A Mum’ and more, while our swimwear category will be inspired by the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association, a tribute to wild swimming. If you didn’t already know, it’s very good for keeping those hot flushes under control.
A pageant of women as workers and mothers whilst showing we are viable, sexy, beautiful and strong.
Who will you crown as ‘Ms Midlife’?
Presented as part of Guildhall School X Bishopsgate Institute
Event Age Guidance
Bishopsgate events are designed for an adult audience. Their special collections and archives, which feature heavily in the programme, may include explicit content. With prior permission, under-18s may attend this event, but only if accompanied by an adult at all times.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Meet the performers
Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju, Director
Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Utopia Theatre. A leading African Theatre company resident at Sheffield Crucible Theatre. She was staff director at The National Theatre, working on Three Sisters by InuaEllams. She was a recipient of the 2017 Opera Awards Foundation bursary, a founding member of Mosaic Opera Collective, guest director at London Academy of Dramatic Arts, East 15, London South Bank University and University of the West of Scotland.
Her work is to raise awareness and increase appreciation of African culture. She commissions and produces new writing and presents established classics within a strong African context, and in so doing, dispelling stereotypes and encouraging authentic voices from the African diaspora.
Catrine was born in Wales and graduated from Guildhall School with a Masters in music. She has worked as an opera singer in many different shows and performances but has a special interest in promoting the work of women. She is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist and has performed roles for English Touring Opera, Scottish Opera, Iford Arts, in the West End for Savoy Opera and multiple roles for the multi award Offie winning Charles Court Opera. As an actress you can see her singing and performing as the late great Alma Cogan in the feature film ‘In love with Alma Cogan’ on Amazon Prime. Most recently she was invited to speak about her self-produced one-woman show about the soubrette star of the Savoy operas, Jessie Bond, on BBC Radio 3. She is a midlife mum to two feisty daughters aged 5 and 9 and often worries that she’s got a prolapse.
Abigail Kelly is an opera singer, vocal coach and workshop leader born and raised in Birmingham. She graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a first class honours degree finishing her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (PGDipOpera).
Operatic roles include Pamina - The Magic Flute (OperaUpClose) and Ninetta - La gazza ladra (Midland Opera). For English Touring Opera (ETO) roles include Susanna - The Marriage of Figaro and Despina - Così fan tutte.
Abigail performs in and directs operas written for children and SEND audiences. Including “The Wish Gatherer” for ETO and “Day Dreaming” for Turtle Opera. As a workshop leader she regularly facilitates for Welsh National Opera, Birmingham Opera Company, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Royal Opera House, Streetwise Opera and Turtle Opera.
Abigail prides herself in her night time skin care regime of cocoa butter, hyaluronic acid and prayers, “If it’s good enough for my mother, then it’s good enough for me”.
Amy J Payne
Amy J Payne trained in vocal and opera studies at Guildhall School, won a couple of prizes and then went on to work for Opera North, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera and Garsington Opera to name but the best ones. She has just turned 40 and like everyone else she speaks to, is wondering what to do with the rest of her life. And does she really have a choice? She is in the process of slinging work as a singer, an actor, a teacher and a workshop leader at the glass ceiling and seeing which sticks. She also fancies herself as a poet, but who doesn’t?