The Dead Ladies Show presents the stories of amazing women from history told live on stage in Berlin and beyond. Inspiring, irreverent, and entertaining! @deadladiesshow on Instagram and Twitter. Facebook: thedeadladiesshow.
Nana Yaa Asantewaa
We’re back with Season 5 of the Dead Ladies Show Podcast! And we kick things off with a fierce leader, the legendary Nana Yaa Asantewaa, a West African queen who led a war against the British in pre-colonial times. The also impressive writer and activist Sharon Dodua Otoo presents her story from the courtyard stage at Berlin’s ACUD as we celebrated an open-air return to live shows.
In this episode, DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire introduces us to daring German writer Irmgard Keun. As an ingenue, Irmgard’s writing debut was much more consequent than her acting debut; she garnered praise and a film adaptation. Her books explored women’s lives in Weimar-era Berlin with a humor all her own, which meant the Nazis banned them. There’s dark wit, wild parties in the face of danger, fabulous costume changes, and an unreliable narrator. It’s a bit of Babylon Berlin meets Cabaret.
This episode the introducing duties go to DLS co-founders Katy Derbyshire and Florian Duijsens as they hand off to podcast producer and host Susan Stone to present the featured Dead Lady -- Bebe Barron, known as the "First lady of Electronic Music." Bebe was a classically trained musician who found her joy with husband Louis in the eerie tones made by dying circuits. Their tape loops and new technology helped set the stage for the bleeps and bloops we all love today.
Episode 42 is all about the American writer and journalist Emily Hahn, also known as Mickey. She qualified as the first female mining engineer in the US, wrote greeting-card copy, travelled the world and authored 54 books and more than 200 articles and short stories. Aside from that, she led an unconventional private life and kept a number of different monkeys. DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens reveals her adventurous life.
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
In this episode, Anneke Lubkowitz introduces us to the brilliant and strange 19th century writer and poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. This Dead Lady was a Lady in the literal sense - she was born into nobility, and the life her family expected for her was far different from the one she led. Choosing the male occupation of poet, and the unladylike hobby of fossil collecting, nature devotee Annette could often be found wandering the muddy moors or writing away in a turret.
The star of our 40th episode is author, educator & therapist Beryl Gilroy. Born in what was then British Guiana, she trained as a teacher before migrating to London in 1952 as part of the Windrush generation & worked all manner of jobs until becoming one of the very first Black head teachers in the UK. Her groundbreaking writing debut, Black Teacher (1976), documented her journey, & she’d keep publishing until her death in 2001. Telling her story is Berlin-based author Divya Ghelani.
Literate and Entertaining
Endearingly earnest and learned women tell stories of major and minor historical characters, often names that ring a bell but who we don't really know. Grimké sisters, abolitionists? Oh yes, now I know about their courageous, independent lives. It's bracing, this podcast.
One of my new favorite podcasts! The episodes are well-researched and presented. I feel like I learn a lot in such a short amount of time.
Witty and informative, this show is quite fun. I enjoy listening to the presenters, who make the dead ladies (ahem) come to life. Additional material following the showcased ladies is a bonus.