Waltham Forest based Flock Theatre Ensemble has announced its first full-length show, premiering at CentrE17 as part of the From the Forest Festival in June.

The all-female theatre company has devised the show under leadership of the head of drama at Leytonstone’s Connaught School for Girls, Ana Brothers, from Walthamstow.

The new production, This Is a Blizzard, is inspired by the global movements of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Driven by a passion to redress the gender imbalance in theatre, This Is a Blizzard is a playfully dark 21st century fairy tale, combining physical and fantastical storytelling by the ensemble cast.

International in flavour – touching Ghana, Norway, India and Ireland, as well as the UK - the show aims to make theatre accessible to a broader range of people.

Ana explains “As a high school drama teacher at an all-girls’ school in our borough, I am often frustrated by the woeful lack of roles for my students to play female characters who are complex, well-rounded, and positive. So I decided to try and do something about it, and the idea to create a local, professional, all-female devising theatre company was hatched.”

“As a company of trained actors and theatre makers from diverse backgrounds, we uniquely devise and create our own work from scratch, with the aim to leave a legacy of play scripts which my students and other female actors can draw upon.”

It bodes well that following a performance of a short piece inspired by the life and work of May Morris - for the opening of the eponymous exhibition at The William Morris Gallery in October last year - Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clare Coghill was impressed.

She says: “I loved the performance. Helping the next generation of women take their place in our artistic and cultural life in this country is an endeavour we should all support.”

Kath Cockshaw, head of museums and arts at London Borough of Waltham Forest described their show as “a smashing piece of beautifully timed, humorous, in your face contemporary theatre”.

The company has also secured further opportunities to take their work outside of the borough: working in partnership with the New Diorama Theatre in central London and winning a highly sought-after opportunity to collaborate with the Barbican Centre later this year.

Ana says: “It’s an exciting time to launch a new theatre company in Waltham Forest. Having won London Borough of Culture and with news of Soho Theatre helping to revive the old Granada cinema into a major new venue, I’m keen to help make our borough a hub for progressive, new theatre. At the same time, I want to make and see work that appeals to our community, encouraging those who have never been to a theatre performance before, to give it a try!”

This Is a Blizzard runs at CentrE17, 1 Church Hill, Walthamstow, E17 3AB, from June 21 to 24. Tickets are on sale on From the Forest Festival website: ftffestival.com