as Gertrude Bell
2019, RSC, Erica Whyman
Story of Gertrude Bell, British archaeologist. Play explores what it means to try and create a nation – and why a country’s treasures matter when people are dying.
Emma Fielding on playing Gertrude Bell in the RSC’s A Museum in Baghdad
She isn’t as well known as she should be. Although she defended the rights of working women, she was against suffrage, and so that had an impact. Some of her thoughts were of her time and quite misguided. And I suspect that when feminists were looking for icons in the 1970s and 80s they dismissed her because of her beliefs – ‘can’t have her’.