Five things to get or see in June

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Striking the Balance - Girl on the Train - Women without Men - Women, Power and Politics - Picasso


Striking the Balance
Play, until 3 September

This touring play by theatre group Mikron looks like a rare treat as it celebrates the struggles of working class women like the Ford machinists or cleaners in Belfast for equal pay.

Though it features special "guest appearances" from Barbara Castle and Margaret Thatcher (rotten fruit is, however, banned from the auditorium) and original music, the real stars of the show are three working women who take on the might of a discriminatory establishment.


The Girl on the Train
Film, 4 June

André Téchiné's film is based on the true story of a 23 year old woman who claimed in 2004 that she had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack by six youths of Arabic and African origin at a railway station in France.

The incident was condemned by the then president, Jacques Chirac, with then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon calling for Jews to leave France for Israel to "escape the wildest anti-Semitism". At the centre of the film is the issue of alienation and loss of innocence, because in fact the attack never happened - she had made it up.


Women without Men
Film, 11 June

Iranian photographer Shirin Neshat dedicates this film to all of those in Iran who have struggled from 1906 to today's green democracy movement. Set in 1953, when a British and US backed coup removed the democratically elected government, this is the story of five women entrapped by oppression and circumstance.


Women, Power and Politics
Theatre, 4-17 June, Tricycle Theatre, London

This special season includes plays, international films, debates and an exhibition all on the theme of women's role in the political process. One forum (chaired by Clare Short) is entitled "Women in Parliament - Why is Britain So Far Behind the Rest of Europe?" and reflects the fact that despite the increase in the number of women MPs elected at the last election only 22 percent of all MPs are women.


Picasso: Peace and Freedom
Tate Liverpool, 21 May-30 August 2010

Picasso was a politically committed artist, and a member of the Communist Party from 1944. This exhibition includes well-known work alongside many other paintings, posters, drawings, ceramics and letters. There will be a full review in next month's issue of Socialist Review.