Meet the next generation of male playwrights writing women without writing an agenda

The continuing under-representation of women across many levels of society is well-documented. Theatre specifically has notoriously poor roles for women compared to those for men, usually taking supporting roles and often as a love interest for the male lead. Even “strong female leads” across the mediums of theatre, film and television have their independence thwarted by what can be an at best secondary and at worst unnecessary love story plot.

A study conducted by WomenArts found that the tendency for women playwrights to write more female parts was largely counteracted by the fact that they are outnumbered 3 to 1 by male writers. Gender inequality is clearly a deep seated issue in theatre, however no one quite knows the best way to resolve it. Fortunately, modern playwrights are a fairly liberal bunch, with self-identified feminists of both genders taking on the task of crafting female characters worth putting on stage. Male writers seem to be becoming more aware of the importance of complex depictions of women in their plays, yet it’s rarely attributed to a pursuit of an overtly feminist ideology. Simon Longman and Daniel Dingsdale, two exciting new voices in theatre, both offer up an example of men’s writing challenging the dominance of male roles for the stage, with the most egalitarian motivation of all –  that of writing a good character.

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QMTC is the best society you could ever possibly join

What could be more fun than Queen Mary Theatre company? Nothing.

We have so much fun. Look up fun in the Oxford English Dictionary and you’ll find a picture of us wearing silly hats.

Here are just some of the reasons we are the best society at QM:

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Jellyfish Returns at London Student Drama Festival

In a land where dinosaurs still roam the Earth, where the nights are stormy and the 3G slow, a grandson stays up with his grandfather as the old man prepares to pass on to the next life. Except this isn’t your usual grandparent/grandchild relationship. Throw in an immortality myth, some psychological bullying and the grotesque treatment of a pickled egg and you’ll start to get a bit closer to the twisted world of Jellyfish. Written by Drama finalist and Royal Court writing programme alumnus Reece Connolly, the play will be heading to the London Student Drama Festival (LSDF) on 5th March.


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Award-winning theatre company aim to inspire with ‘captivating’ children’s eco play about ash trees


Ash die-back might not be the obvious choice of topic for a children’s play, but Edinburgh based Asylon Theatre’s latest venture has already proved to be a ‘captivating’, albeit unlikely piece of theatre.


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Review: Take the Initiative and Hit Re: Play

Put together by a collection of QM finalists, Re: Play showed off the promising work being created by students studying in the drama department. With two of the three performances initially created as part of taught practical modules, it proved the scope and quality of student work at Queen Mary is not meant for good grades but bigger things. Although tonight’s performance was firmly on QM turf in the Pinter, it could form a foundation for external showings of work in the future. Using the scratch performance development technique used by organisations such as Battersea Arts Centre, the aim of the night was to collect feedback for the ongoing development of each work. This proactive and practical approach to the development of a piece is key for many professional theatre companies, so getting started whilst still at university with all the resources that come with it is a potentially massive boost for the creative process.

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Review: Pussy Patrons’ Cabaret of Cunts is a Fiesta of Femininity

Upon entering the endearingly dilapidated Limehouse Town Hall there’s already a buzz of anticipation in the air. QM finalists Pussy Patrons have attracted quite the crowd for their specially curated evening of feminist performance, a Cabaret of Cunts involving puppetry, spoken word, music and of course, the Pussy Patrons themselves.

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