YORK company Real People Theatre are exploring the theme of resilience in their show for York International Women's Week on Friday and Saturday.

"Resilience is surely something we could all do with as individuals, as a country and as a planet in these troubled times," says artistic director Sue Lister, whose company will be performing for YIWW for the 20th consecutive year.

"During two months of lively weekly rehearsals, ten women have gathered their ideas and experiences as a springboard for audience discussion. Where does resilience come from and can it be ignited by the example of others? What does resilience mean to you? Is it in your DNA? Does it come through life experiences? What is it all about?"

The stories and images in Sue's play Resilience cover "a great deal of territory": childhood memories from the Second World War; ancestors who settled in New Zealand; African women’s resilience; an art project by indigenous Canadian women and the life challenges faced by a woman from India.

"There's also a scene about marital conflict and the audience can share different points of view," says Sue. "Finally, there's the story of a Jewish refugee family and how to keep calm and courteous as a cyclist: an odd combination but you have to be there to appreciate the link!

"If any of this resonates with you, then you're welcome to join us as we explore this theme in Resilience on Friday at 7.30pm to 9.30 pm or Saturday from 2pm to 4pm at the Quad South Hall, York St John University, in Lord Mayor’s Walk." Tickets cost £6, concessions £5, on the door.

Resilience "may be" Sue's last show as Real People Theatre's artistic director. "Twenty years is a long track record and I'm thinking of opening the door to other women directors in the company’s 21st year. If you're a woman interested in directing a show of your own on social issues from women’s points of view, then contact me on 01904 488870 to discuss possibilities," she says.

"If no-one steps forward, I'll continue merrily into the future leading workshops, as discussion and audience interaction have always been a major part of my productions."