Equal Writes: which women are we not seeing represented on stage?




‘Women are 51% of the population and form 68% of theatre audiences, yet recent statistics by The Guardian, Equity, FIA and Sphinx Theatre show a persistent 2:1 male-to-female ratio of roles for actors appearing on stage. A significant consequence of this inequality is the stereotyping of women, lack of role modelling and an even greater diminishing of representation of women over the age of 35.

These statistics reflect the fact that the narratives of numerous women’s stories and identities are missing. While “all the world’s a stage” it is clear that many women are not seeing themselves represented; a wealth of their stories are to be uncovered, considered and made visible.

Equal Writes is part of the nationwide campaign towards gender parity.’

Equal Writes put out a public call for theatre writing which portrayed complex female characters and narratives currently underrepresented on stage.

I decided to submit a script as the cause is close to my heart and central to my politics. I submitted as I am a playwright and I know that only 17% of produced plays are written by women. This figure, combined with the statistics Equal Writes presents above, may go far in explaining the gender imbalance of professionals working in theatre, as well as the often ‘thin’ or stereotypical representations of women on the stage.

The extract I sent was from a monologue, ‘Walkie Talkies’, a comedy depicting a feisty disabled female character fighting institutionalisation and vying for independent living. I’m delighted to say this was one of the twelve selected from the massive entry of over 800 submissions, and will be performed by one of my long-term collaborators, Mandy Colleran, at Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden on March 11th 2013:

EQUAL WRITES: which women are we not seeing represented on stage?


Following Equal Writes’ call to all playwrights for submissions: an evening of selected scenes, monologues and discussion focusing on women, women’s stories and women in situations we are not presently seeing represented on UK stages.


Little Red Riding Headscarf by Yamina Bakiri

Flags by Andrew Curtis

Soft by Susan Harrison

A Blue Bonnet For Samuel by Alice Jolly

Piece Of Cake by Paul Macauley

Walkie Talkies by Kaite O’Reilly

La Barbe by Sarah Rutherford

Finally by AC Smith

Medicine by David Spencer

Downfall by Sumerah Srivastava

The Cat Call by Dominic Walker

Ms Bond by Emma Wilson

Tristan Bates Theatre Booking Details:

Equal Writes 19.30 11 March 2013

Box Office: 0207 240 6283

Email: boxoffice@tristanbatestheatre.co.uk

Online Booking: http://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/tbt_performanceListing.asp?classname=Writes

Location: 1A Tower Street WC2H 9NP


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