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Bristol-based theatre company takes direct action against sexism with new all-female production

9th October 2019

Categories: Latest News

Theatre West have commissioned their first all-female production in response to the large disparity between the sexes within their industry. 

The theatre company will be launching Everyone is Dead, by Charlotte Turner-McMullan at the Bristol Old Vic on 16 October, with a cast and crew made up entirely of women. 

The play came to fruition as a result of a competition which Theatre West held earlier this year called ‘Write on Women’, which called for female writers to submit their work. They had 30 entries from across the West, and each of them were asked to complete a survey to gather information about their experiences within the theatre. 

Ann Stiddard, Theatre West's Artistic Director, said: “The picture nationally is that fewer women playwrights get their work produced and we wanted to do something directly to challenge that.”

“The women that we surveyed in the West painted a similar image saying that they felt under-represented in the theatre and that the male-dominated spaces were uncomfortable places to be. It is an issue that the industry is talking about and we hope our research can help provide some practical ideas as to what we all need to do to make a change,” she continued.

As a result of this research Ann Stiddard, and fellow Theatre West Artistic Director, Alison Comley, decided to create an opportunity exclusively for not only women writers, but for the whole crew.

Alison Comley said: “The opportunity has been really well received by women writers in the region, but it has been an interesting challenge to put together an all female production team. Women lighting and sound designers are harder to find, so we hope that through our production we will inspire a new generation of young women to take up these roles in the future. ”

Everyone is Dead launches at the Bristol Old Vic and later appears at the Everyman in Cheltenham and The Blakehay Theatre in Weston-super-Mare. The play tells of a not too distant dystopian future, which explores what might happen when two ordinary women find themselves in a world driven by extreme violence, the kind of violence that usually surrounds male-led stories.

Writer Charlotte Turner-McMullan said: “Theatre West’s call out for female writers felt like an exciting, and rare, chance to write something that puts women and female relationships at its centre.

“Women in the industry are slowly reaching the position where we can empower each other. The amazing response Theatre West have had to this project shows how they are doing just that, not just occupying space, but helping open it for other women as well,” she continued.

Everyone is Dead launches at the Bristol Old Vic on 16 October, full dates below:
16th, 17th Oct at 7pm
18th Oct at 7.30pm
19th Oct at 1.30pm & 7pm 
0117 987 7877

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