PI: How did you call for your submissions? GG: For both shows, we posted a call out on various online
theatre forums and gave the writers a week to submit. We were absolutely delighted at the keen response – we received over 40 scripts the first time and 60 for the second – and the high
standard of submissions. Our brief to writers consisted of three golden rules:
1. City Shorts - pieces must be set in London. City Slices &
Country Crumbs - pieces must be specifically set somewhere in England.
2. They must have at least 50% female characters. 3. They must be no longer than 15 minutes.
PI:Why have you taken women’s issues as your focus? GG: One of our main aims, apart from producing exciting
and challenging work, is to increase the amount of female
representation on the stage. Firstly, we are generally fed-up with the fact that most of the plays we watch have so few female
characters (particularly noticeable with anything written pre-
20th century) and that most of these characters represent a few
stereotypes – the housewife, the prostitute, the innocent young girl, the witch etc. Secondly, we discovered some statistics
published in December 2012 that really shocked us, including that: the ratio of male to female parts on the London stage is 2:1, the
ratio of female to male graduates leaving university performing arts courses is 4:1 and women theatregoers now outnumber men 2:1
in the UK. All these facts made us realise that female actors have a
much lower chance of finding roles, and good roles, than men, and are much more likely to be out of work.
So, it wasn’t our intention to produce plays about women, we
just wanted the plays to include women and to be localized in
London/ England so they felt really relevant to our audiences. It
just turned out that we started to receive broadly feminist pieces, and pieces addressing female issues.
PI: Tell us more about the plays, what they are about and why you chose them? What’s the standard?
GG: For both shows, after the submission deadline, the directors sat
down together to read all the scripts (we had looked at some as they were coming in, but the final read still took a whole day). Ultimately, we chose the pieces that we would like to have a chance to direct.
We did want to have both thematic links and variety, but for us the quality of the shows would hinge on how passionate about our individual pieces we were, and the ideas we had for them.
ANNA BY WENDY THOMSON L-R: CELIA KELLY, DAVE PITT