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  • Writer's pictureWhoop 'n' Wail

Do we need a ‘womanifesto’?

So, here at Whoop ‘n’ Wail HQ we were reading a very interesting article in last Sunday’s Independent on Sunday, by Jane Merrick in which she was questioning the merits of Labour’s ‘women’s manifesto’. The main thread of her discussion was, do we need a ‘women’s manifesto?’ Are all women the same? Do all women vote on the basis of childcare issues, equal pay and the NHS? And do men not concern themselves with the very same issues?

In this very same week, an article appeared in the London Evening Standard. In an interview by Lizzie Edmonds, Rosemary Squire OBE, founder and co-owner of the Ambassador Theatre Group, stated that there are not enough strong female roles in the theatre and goes on to say; ‘More needs to be done to get female directors, producers – women in at all levels. The glass ceiling is still very much there.’


Represents… – produced by two women – allows playwrights and directors of both genders to work together to create entertaining and engaging theatre, while also ensuring the inclusion of significant roles for women.

All six plays in Represents…Desire, chosen from an open submission process, pass the Bechdel Test. Three of which are written by men; three written by women; and there are three male and three female directors. All’s good and equal so far. But, we have come across an interesting dilemma: in total the character breakdown of the show includes 13 female roles and only 3 male roles. Not so equal. Is this a reflection on a brief to write work with significant roles for women in mind? Maybe. There are constraints on writers who only have 15 minutes to tell a story.

It could be argued, who cares? In an art-form that consistently under-represents women, why not produce a show with such a heavy bias?

Broad themes included in Represents…Desire are friendship; image; sex; fear; love; conflict and of course, desire. Would Labour have us believe that these are issues to be contained within the ‘women’s manifesto’? Do not men, as fathers, brothers, lovers and, most importantly, human beings, care about such things?

We would love to be producing a show where, not only the production team – the producers, writers and directors – is equally representative, but also the cast list. We are proud, however, to be producing a show that tells stories that tap into the human condition, relevant for all and at the same time, put women centre stage.

Book now for advanced price tickets

Whoop ‘n’ Wail Represents…Desire

Waterloo East Theatre

Brad Street, London, SE1 8TG

Friday 6th & Saturday 7th February

7.30 – 10pm (incl. interval)


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