First Ladies

Book and lyrics by Nikki Racklin, music by Elizabeth Charlesworth

We are the First Ladies of history

Half silk, half blade

We’ve come to set the record straight…


Where is the page in the history book

That tells the world of the risk we took?

When diary dates go up in flames

And daring dames aren’t household names

The balance has to be redressed

Your memories must be refreshed


The First Ladies of history are a force to be reckoned with. On this day we are invited to bear witness to the inauguration of a new member of their prestigious tribe – the first female President of one of the world’s most powerful countries.


Amplified by recent political events, this poignant all-female musical production, commissioned by Youth Music Theatre (UK), celebrates and breathes life into the fascinating characters of some our most pioneering women of history.


Written by Nikki Racklin, composed by Elizabeth Charlesworth and directed by the Royal Opera House’s Gerard Jones, this brand-new musical brings together and celebrates an often overlooked and, at times, surprisingly contemporary group of first ladies, shedding light on important questions about leadership, civil rights and women’s position in the world.


FIRST LADIES was commissioned with funding from PRS Foundation, and was performed at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, on 12 & 13 August 2017.

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