Lady Gagg is a no-budget independent feature film produced by Hull’s award-winning director Mal Williamson and Kelly Casey, drama lecturer from Birmingham.
We follow the daily life of home-worker Ingrid Gagg as she copes with her grieving father, her new empty flat and the angry voices of the general public she encounters in her job for a call centre company.
The thing is - she also struggles to talk.
Men are interrupting her, accosting her as a single woman, explaining or belittling. Her voice seems to be giving up. When she needs to visit a doctor the penny drops about this patriarchy around her - the systemic dominance of the male world.
Lady Gagg decides to take control and do her own testing. Her hobby as a birdwatcher comes in handy as she takes her scientific mind to the problems she feels - surely it is not all in her head?
"It is so important that this story is told"
"Don't tell anyone it was us who helped you"
is a performer, lecturer and dramaturg based in Birmingham. Her project work is centred on feminist portrayals and safeguarding creative processes for dramatic production.
When completing her MA she called on Mal to enquire about converting her recent medical emphasis into a film. The challenge was appealing of course - with the male gaze being such a trope of cinema studies yet also based on dodgy Freudian assumptions.
Kelly was happy to go ahead with an experimental and exploratory approach because this matched her usual theatre devising methods. Lady Gagg ...and the Hypothalamic Pituitary Ovarian Axis perhaps shows the physical, organic source of feminism that lives every day in the patriarchal glare.
What started as an intellectual and creative exercise in portraying the patriarchy soon took on new meanings when medical professionals got involved. From our initial aim to portray an overtly feminist storyline with performance, lenses and improvisation evolved a real-life analysis of womens' health - and the perimenopause experience in particular.
The film remains naturalistic as we spend time with Ingrid Gagg through her daily life. She is a homeworker, managing a call-centre team and facing the abuse and attitudes of the general public during her calls. She tries to maintain a relationship with her dad, after her mum having died recently. Our hero's response to health issues takes her down an empowering and enlightening path - although not as she would have imagined.
We were delighted to be asked to screen and discuss the movie at the meeting of Hull Medical Society later this year.
We were joined online by speakers from the world of perimenopause support and health promotion to help us with the discussion the movie raised.
Friends from the Hull Afro-Caribbean Association were also there to help discuss the particular issues around African menopause awareness which are raised in the film.
"Beautiful" "Sad" "Brilliant"
"You've made a
"Congratulations on such a beautiful film"
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