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The Dead Ladies Show

Author: Katy Derbyshire, Susan Stone & Florian Duijsens

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The Dead Ladies Show is a series of entertaining and inspiring presentations on women who achieved amazing things against all odds, presented live on stage in Berlin at event space ACUD. This podcast is based on that series. @deadladiesshow on Instagram and Twitter. Facebook: thedeadladiesshow.
64 Episodes
In this episode, DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens introduces us to Dame Miriam Rothschild, a British zoologist, entomologist, and botanist. Coming from a wealthy family (yes, those Rothschilds) with an active interest in nature, she started collecting ladybirds and caterpillars and taking a tame quail to bed with her at the age of four. During a … Continue reading "Podcast #72: Miriam Rothschild"
In this episode, we take a jaunt to New York to find out about the talented and difficult Patricia Highsmith. You might know one of her most notorious characters, Tom Ripley, from your Netflix queue (the new series Ripley) or via one of the many films based on what might be Highsmith’s best-known novel, The Talented Mr. … Continue reading "Podcast #71: Patricia Highsmith"
*** NOTE: This episode’s Dead Lady had a very challenging existence, particularly when she was younger, and her story is marked by multiple incidents of violence and sexual abuse. Please use caution when listening *** In this episode, we join forces with the Ms Informed podcast to bring you the story of Phoolan Devi. Known … Continue reading "Podcast #70: Phoolan Devi"
In this episode, we bring you…the woman known as the “Mother Theresa of Reggae! Sister Mary Ignatius, a white Jamaican Catholic nun dedicated her life to the Alpha Boys’ School in Kingston, where she taught football, cricket, boxing, table tennis and dominoes – but most importantly, music. A lover of jazz and blues, she inspired … Continue reading "Podcast #69: Sister Mary Ignatius Davies"
In this episode, the last of Season Six, we bring you a show live from PodFest Berlin! DLS-ers Susan Stone and Katy Derbyshire joined the city’s fine and friendly podcasters at the yearly event in front of a small but perfectly formed audience. From that event, producer Susan brings us the fascinating story of June Tarpé … Continue reading "Podcast #68: June Tarpé Mills"
In this episode, we hear once again from our friends at Dead Ladies NYC.  Nafisa Ferdous presents Amrita Sher-Gil, a queer, feminist, Hungarian-Indian artist, writer, and art critic who left a profound impact on art despite her untimely death. Sher-Gil was an incredibly charismatic non-conformist whose work reframed discussions on art and feminism, orientalism, and … Continue reading "Podcast #67: Amrita Sher-Gil"
In this episode, we encounter the show’s very first featured geographer. Doreen Massey was a pioneer in her field. She challenged existing ideas about space, place and power, was compassionate, politically active, and hopeful.   She worked mainly at the Centre for Environmental Studies think tank, and at British early-morning TV fans’ beloved Open University … Continue reading "Podcast #66: Doreen Massey"
In this episode, DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire has the story of a deutsche Diva — an iconic German actress and singer and best-selling author known for her glamour and scandal, her smoky voice and sweeping false eyelashes. Hildegard Knef was also an unreliable narrator and a serial fabulator who was alternately loved and hated in … Continue reading "Podcast #64: Hildegard Knef"
In this episode, translator Laura Radosh introduces us to the fascinating and troubled writer Djuna Barnes. The journalist, novelist, and artist mixed with everyone from James Joyce to Peggy Guggenheim, and was at the center of Bohemian life in 1920s New York and Paris, though perhaps not quite as much as she would like. Best … Continue reading "Podcast #63: Djuna Barnes"
Our story for this episode comes from our friends at the Dead Ladies Show NYC, which is organized and hosted by Molly O’Laughlin Kemper with Sheila Enright.  Photographer, professional eccentric, and guinea-pig lover JR Pepper (previously on the pod with Mae West) tells the tale of artist Leonor Fini, a glamorous, passionate iconoclast (and cat … Continue reading "Podcast #62: Leonor Fini"
For our 61st episode, we bring back the presenter who appeared in our very first podcast episode, writer and translator Karen Margolis. Drawing from her own history in higher mathematics, Karen ably tells the tale of Germany’s Emmy Noether, who developed key theorems in theoretical physics and made important contributions to abstract algebra. Excluded from … Continue reading "Podcast #61: Emmy Noether"
In this episode, we’re going to hear about a woman sometimes called a sculptress of sound —  “the unsung heroine of British electronic music” —  Delia Derbyshire, ably presented by our very own DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire.   A working-class girl from Coventry, England, Delia studied music and mathematics, and went on to work at … Continue reading "Podcast #60: Delia Derbyshire"
Welcome to our first podcast of 2023! In this episode, we zoom in on photographer Berenice Abbott. This American artist has a bit of a six-degrees-of separation going on with a number of our previous Dead Ladies, including Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven and Emma Goldman. As told by DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens, Berenice’s story includes stints … Continue reading "Podcast 59: Berenice Abbott"
Podcast 58: Ruth Asawa

Podcast 58: Ruth Asawa


It’s our final podcast of 2022! DLS co-founders Florian Duijsens and Katy Derbyshire join producer Susan Stone to toast the holiday season, chat about this year’s good news in Dead Ladies, and to introduce our featured Dead Lady, artist Ruth Asawa.  Born to Japanese parents on a farm in California, Ruth Asawa first developed her … Continue reading "Podcast 58: Ruth Asawa"
To kick off Season 6 of our podcast, writer Leon Craig brings us the story of award-winning English author Angela Carter. Known for her feminist, gothic, and erotic sensibilities and for re-inventing folk and fairy tales with her now seminal collection The Bloody Chamber, Carter’s life had quite a few plot twists of its own. … Continue reading "Podcast #57: Angela Carter"
Podcast #56: Mae West

Podcast #56: Mae West


Courtesy of our pals at DLS NYC, we meet the first meta sex symbol: Mae West. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Mae was brazen, buxom, bawdy, sensational, and sexy. She was known for her husky voice, risqué performances, and double entendres that slipped past the film censors. With over 70 years in show business … Continue reading "Podcast #56: Mae West"
This episode was recorded at the second-ever PodFest Berlin, a local two-day event full of workshops, networking, free ice cream, and live tapings from podcasts in various languages, including one from us.  Dead Ladies Show co-founder Katy Derbyshire and podcast producer/host Susan Stone were there for a mini DLS, and took turns hosting and presenting bilingually … Continue reading "Podcast #55: Virginia Andrews"
In this Episode, we drop in on our New York-based sister spinoff show, DLS NYC, which returned to the KGB Bar’s Red Room after a long hiatus. DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens happened to be visiting from Berlin, and took to the stage to introduce the fabulous Memphis Minnie.  Tobacco-chewing blues singer MEMPHIS MINNIE (1897–1973) ran away from … Continue reading "Podcast #54: Memphis Minnie"
Podcast #53: Eva Crane

Podcast #53: Eva Crane


In this buzz-worthy episode, DLS co-founder Katy Derbyshire (and translator) brings us the story of leading bee scientist Eva Crane. Born to humble beginnings, Eva obtained a PhD in nuclear physics but quickly shifted her attention from atoms to apiculture. She travelled the world to document all things bees, and was particularly interested in the … Continue reading "Podcast #53: Eva Crane"