Big Girl's Blouse

Written and performed by Kate O'Donnell Created with Mark Whitelaw

Who knew what being transgender was in the 1970s? Not Kate’s family. To be fair, crispy pancakes had only just landed in the Midlands so she had her work cut out.

The path to becoming a woman doesn’t always run smooth and with a lifetime of coming out, Kate has had to use every trick — theatrical and otherwise — to get by.

Big Girl’s Blouse sees Kate make a song and dance about her life using humour, music and costume to tell her story . Created with Mark Whitelaw. Olivier Award-winning (Duckie, Urs ula Martinez )

Big Girl’s Blouse is commissioned by Contact. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Supported by the Welcome Collection as part of the Sexology Season

Tour Dates

The Dukes Fri 18 Sept 8pm Lancaster Book Now
Hull Truck Theatre Sat 26 Sept 8pm Hull Book Now
Cast Fri 23rd Oct 7:45pm Doncaster Book Now
Homotopia (Unity Theatre) Sat 7 Nov 7:30pm Liverpool Book Now
Harrogate Theatre Thurs 4 Feb 2016 TBC Harrogate Book Now
Northern Stage Fri 5 & Sat 6 Feb 2016 TBC Newcastle Book Now
New Wolsey Studio Thurs 25 Feb 2016 7:45pm Ipswich Book Now
Warwick Arts Centre Fri 11 & Sat 12 Mar 2016 TBC Coventry Book Now
CONTACT Fri 13 & Sat 14 May 2016 8pm MANCHESTER Book Now

Press & Audience Feedback

'A Manchester Legend’ – Timeout

‘Big Girl’s blouse is a transfusion of hope, love and joy. Kate's story fills all our hearts. One size fits all’ - Stacy Makishi.

‘Kate's Show is about LOVE, DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU CAN'T LOVE’ - David Hoyle.

‘This was a truly humbling performance. How to turn a room of most strangers into a family - in an hour. I'm still laughing, still moved but mostly I'm impressed. Tight, elegant and fearless - just like Kate.’ – Rachel Morris, Sex Psychotherapist for Cosmopolitan Magazine.

‘Kate O'Donnell's new show is a funny, heart-warming and gently political take on growing up different from the people around you. It's also a guilty pleasure for anyone who grew up in 70s and 80s Britain.’ - Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact

‘This show brings together a brilliant (vaudeville) performance of the story of a trans-life told through cabaret vignettes with a vital political message about how attitudes to trans people urgently need to change to allow them to live without fear. As someone working in the field of sexuality studies, I thought 'Big Girl's Blouse' was both hilarious and entertaining and a forceful political intervention. This work deserves to be seen more widely and by audiences outside Manchester.’ - Jackie Stacey, Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture and Director of the Sexuality Summer School, University of Manchester.

Twitter Campaign & Response #StandByYourTrans

@KevinJamieson1: ‘'Big Girls Blouse' @ContactMcr last night was a tight rope walk of bold, honest, moving & hilarious storytelling. Bravo. #standbyyourtrans’

@Nickihobday: ‘I have never laughed then cried so much in a show. #BigGirlsBlouse beautiful, surprising, fabulous with-the-lid-blown off #standbyyourtrans’

@thememmorrison: ‘Thank you @kateodonnellx for an amazing night. #BigGirlsBlouse is a brilliant show. Feeling super proud! #standbyyourtrans’

@sparklygrrl: ‘Saw @kateodonnellx in Big Girls Blouse. Great performance. Her story is like mine, but she has little more...spotlights #standbyyourtrans’ & ‘It's good to hear from Kate O'Donnell that she also got a letter from the school. Mine said I was 'acting like a fairy'. #standbyyourtrans’

@nathanieljhall: ‘On a MASSIVE high after watching #BigGirlsBlouse by @kateodonnellx @ContactMcr 3 word review: life affirming fabulousness #standbyyourtrans’

@SophieCharleson: ‘I really hope everyone gets to see #BigGirlsBlouse. Everyone would know how important it is to #standbyyourtrans!’

@pippagibson ‘Proud to be standing by @kateodonnellx after #BigGirlsBlouse feat. @MLGConline #standbyyourtrans’ (Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus Member)