Theatre dominated by male writers- Audit of East Anglian theatres

Lindsey Nicholas conducted an audit of how many plays in production runs are written by women and these are her shocking findings:


This audit is informal and based on available information through company websites. I do not present it as scientifically accurate, if there were such a method of collating this kind of data, and it must be interpreted as such.

The data does not cover every theatre in the East Anglian region. As I am interested in drawing attention to relationships with public funding, I have chosen the Mercury Theatre, Colchester and the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich as 2 dynamic, publically-funded theatres, plus HighTide Theatre, Suffolk and Menagerie Theatre, Cambridge as two (the only two?) major recipients of funding for new theatre writing.

Unfortunately, I have no information as to the ages of writers. Of those plays written by women, there is no information as to whether older writers were given opportunity.

My main findings are:

· Out of 13 productions in the Wolsey Theatres Autumn Season 2013, 10 are written by men, 1 co-written, male and female; 1 touring production was written/devised by women.

· Out of 7 productions in the Mercury Theatres Autumn Season 2013, 6 are written by men, 1 touring production is female scripted. There is 1 female ten minute short.

· High Tide’s 2013 Festival presented 5 new plays, all of which were written by men.

· Menagerie Theatre’s 2013 Hotbed festival featured 4 plays, 3 written by men, 1 by a woman. Transfer to Hotbed 503 included 3 plays, all written by men.

(c) Lindsey Nicholas 2013

See Lindsey Nicholas' blog for full breakdown of the results

Author's review: