A NEW play will shine a light on the extraordinary life and music of composer Dame Ethel Smyth.

Ethel Smyth: Grasp The Nettle will be performed at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Friday, February 15 at 8pm.

Grasp The Nettle sees contralto and actress Lucy Stevens return to the Corn Exchange following her appearance last year as Kathleen Ferrier in Whattalife!

Composer, writer and suffragette Dame Ethel was the living embodiment of the passion with which Victorian women challenged the “male machine” and the first female composer to have her work performed at both Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Neither opera house featured work by a woman composer for more than a century afterwards.

Ethel Smyth - Grasp the Nettle is a whirlwind of Ethel's exploits and passions interwoven with her songs, the story of her greatest opera, The Wreckers, and her battle for an equal voice. It is illuminated with anecdotes from her confidants, her letters and her own writing "…which is peculiarly beautiful and all of it rippling with life" (Maurice Baring).

*Ethel Smyth: Grasp The Nettle, Dorchester Corn Exchange, Friday, February 15, 8pm. Contact Dorchester Arts for tickets.