The co-founders of Academic Archers, Cara Courage and Nicola Headlam, who have an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything Ambridge, read extracts from their new book Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge: Women in the Archers.
They opened up a passionate discussion into the power of gossip, female relationships, the tensions of class and the portrayals of marriage, motherhood and female education that exist in the county of Borsetshire.
The panel used The Archers as a lens to discuss wider women’s issues with particular reference to the character Susan Carter, played by Charlotte Martin.
Martin read out an entertaining description and back-story to the character so many “love to hate”. She asked whether ‘it’s Susan’s gender, her working class roots, which are regarded as malicious and unattractive [rather than] her gossipy nature”.
They discussed how the family dynasty of The Archers has endured for so long. Martin attributed its longevity to the fact that “We do have the dramatic stories, we do inform about farming, we do have comedy inherent in the programme and that’s why it’s as successful as it is”.
If you are interested in more events like this, please also see Event 280 at 9am on Friday 31 May.
If you like watching Hay Festival events digitally please sign up to the Hay Player for more from the world’s greatest thinkers.
Picture left-right: Cara Courage, Charlotte Martin, Nicola Headlam
Picture by Paul Musso