Female arts blog

Female Arts and International Women's Day 2014

This blog entry is the 1000th article published since Female Arts was launched in May 2011! Thank you and congratulations to all involved @femalearts!

With this very special entry I'd like to share with you some exciting events coming up in March that the Female Arts team will be involved in to help celebrate, commemorate and campaign for gender equality on International Women's Day (Saturday March 8th).

Tuesday 4th March - Deputy Editor Sophie Porter's feminist play 'The Monotonous Drum' is being performed at the Etcetera Theatre, London at 9.30pm as part of their Women in Theatre Festival #WITfestival for more details and to book please see http://www.femalearts.com/node/982 and http://www.femalearts.com/node/998

Wednesday 5th March Very pleased and excited to announce that Female Arts are co-hosting a WOW party at Southbank centre #WOWLDN @WOWtweetUK with GAP Salon @GAPsalon and So and So Arts Club @soandsoartsclub. You are welcome to join us and the other charities / organisations involved in the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall from 6pm-7.30pm to help us celebrate our achievements http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/wow-parties-81651

Friday 7th March Female Arts are running an information stall in the WOW marketplace, Southbank centre between 10am-6pm. We will be blogging and tweeting live, follow us @femalearts #wowfemalearts, meet the team! find out more about what we do, and what we'd like to do in the future! http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/

Saturday 8th March Morning - Female Arts will be involved in the 'Walk in Her Shoes' march for women and girls living in poverty, Care International. Join Helen Pankhurst and the Olympic Suffragettes in a walk from Tate Britain to the Southbank centre. To register and for more details please see http://www.femalearts.com/node/983

Then - Female Arts will dash to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama @CSSDLondon to join in with their International Women's Day Festival @IWDfest14

From Friday 7th-Sunday 9th March we plan to be reviewing and reporting on events @ WOW festival, Southbank. http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/

It will be a busy week, I feel tired already. Thank you for your support and please share with us news of what you are doing for International Women's Day 2014 - email editor@femalearts.com tweet us @femalearts write on our wall www.facebook.com/femalearts

Best wishes
Wendy xx

Feminist student and teacher

It was one year ago this month that I first became acquainted with Female Arts. I was on a train with my ex -boyfriend who was checking his twitter when he saw a link to Female Arts through the Camden Fringe Festival feed. Female Arts was enquiring about women in the industry who may be interested in becoming reviewers. Knowing that I was a feminist theatre practitioner, he forwarded the link to me; I got in touch with Wendy and the rest is history.

I never set out to be a reviewer, but I am passionately interested in theatre and especially women in theatre. I wrote the first draft of my first review immediately after seeing my first Female Arts play, then I sent it to a few friends for feedback, edited and changed a few things and finally sent it off. Now, a year later, I am far more confident. There was a time when I wouldn’t submit a review until my ex-boyfriend had read it (not terribly feminist!), now I write more swiftly and have stopped asking anyone (except my Female Arts editors) for any advice. I started reviewing because I thought it would give me the discipline to formulate articulate and thought out opinions of plays that I’ve seen, rather than simply saying ‘yeh it was good’. Female Arts has done more for me than I could ever do for Female Arts. Through this company I have met some wonderful feminist professionals – both male and female – and have been exposed to work I would never normally have been aware of.


2013 Highlights

2013 was a very productive year for Female Arts and I have published our highlights here http://www.femalearts.com/node/904

These are my Personal highlights

March 2013
Nominated for the Orwell Prize in Journalism for my writing for Female Arts. http://theorwellprize.co.uk/how-to-enterentries-2013journalism-prize-2013/

April 2013
Pleased to meet several of the Female Arts team in person! at Fringe First Mondays, an awesome free networking event for creatives, which is currently on a break http://fringefirstmondays.wordpress.com/about/

May 2013
As a new playwright I was thrilled to have two playlets produced by London Grey and Green theatre co http://greyandgreentheatre.co.uk/ at the Hen and Chickens and Rosemary Branch theatres in May and October and even more surprised and chuffed when Cathy Tyson came down to support me - and the other new writers. London Grey and Green are a fantastic theatre company please follow them on Twitter @GreyGreenTheatr and Facebook www.facebook.com/LondonGreyAndGreen

I also had a playlet performed at Reading’s Crash Test Drama http://crashtestdramauk.wordpress.com

July 2013
I attended a meeting of the League of Professional Women in Theatre UK. I am a volunteer for this group who have nearly 1000 members and is rapidly growing. The group aims to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the Professional Theatre. If you would like to join please click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/484847981569852 Like the facebook page www.facebook.com/LeagueOfTheatreWomenUk follow on Twitter @LofPTW

August 2013
I attended UK Feminista’s summer school in Birmingham http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ which was an inspiring weekend and met some of the campaigners who are bringing feminism back into public focus including Lucy Anne Holmes from No More Page 3 @NoMorePage3 – which aims to remove topless models from The Sun newspaper.

Other campaigns I followed with interest in 2013 were Caroline Criado-Perez @CCriadoPerez who fought to get women back onto English banknotes and her other campaign The Women’s Room which challenges the media's poor gender ratio with a 3000+ expert women database.@thewomensroomuk

Oct 2013
LA FPI (Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative) quoted me in an article on gender parity research http://lafpi.com/2013/10/the-numbers-problem-and-why-it-matters/

Nov 2013
When Sally Met Sally interviewed me about Female Arts http://www.whensallymetsally.co.uk/features/tackling-gender-inequality-a...

Dec 2013
I attended a GAP Salon (Gender and Performance) meeting where members discuss, debate and strive for better representation on stage and in other areas of performance http://www.femalearts.com/node/890

I was a panellist at the ‘Women in Arts festival’ on the topic ‘Writing for Women’ run by So and So Arts club www.thesoandsoartsclub.com and the Actors Centre http://www.femalearts.com/node/880

Another personal highlight was being involved in organising an art exhibition on behalf of a talented individual who had passed away, it was great to see their work on display and shared with the public.

Self Promotion
I’m probably better at promoting other people than myself! But if you like the work I’m doing and would like to boost my ego please...

Check out my personal website www.wendythomson.co.uk
Like my writers page on facebook www.facebook.com/wendythomsonwriter
Watch my short film www.facebook.com/pages/Spell-short-film/274076066045757
Follow me on twitter @topgirls
and Hang out with me on Ideastap and LinkedIn.

Thanks for your Support!
Wendy Thomson - Editor

Gender and Performance (GAP) Salon

In December I attended a Gender and Performance salon in London. These are monthly meetings to discuss gender - and performance ... this could be interpreted as women in theatre but is much more than that - and men are welcome.

Co founded by Amy Clare Tasker, Susan Crothers and Kate Baiden the group grew out of a conversation in the League of Professional Women in Theatre, and is a much welcome place where people can meet in person, after networking online or elsewhere!

At the December salon I was really pleased to meet Sam Hall founder of 17 percent, if you are a female playwright do check out her site! http://17percent.wordpress.com/

If you'd like to join, please go to: GAP Salon on facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/508064249284108

GAP Salon website http://gapsalon.wordpress.com/
GAP Salon on twitter @GAPsalon
League of Professional Women in Theatre on facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/484847981569852

NEXT MEETING is Monday 13th Jan 2014 at 7pm.

So and So / Actors Centre 'Women In Arts' festival

On Wednesday 18th December I was a panelist at the So & So / Tristan Bates Theatre / Actors Centre 'Women In Arts' festival - on the 'Writing for Women' panel alongside the founder of the So and So Arts club Sarah Berger @SarahJaneBerger, playwright Sarah Rutherford @Sar_hRutherford, editor and media trainer Susan Grossman @wordsallowed, writer/director Trent Burton @TrunkmanUK, comedy writer/performer Karen Haley @roaring_girl and Actor, TV & Radio presenter Jean Rogers @TalkToVP


Wendy Thomson interviewed by When Sally Met Sally

I was recently interviewed by the lovely webzine for girls who like girls - When Sally Met Sally - to spread the word about the good work we do at Female Arts. Check it out: http://www.whensallymetsally.co.uk/features/tackling-gender-inequality-a...

City Slices and Country Crumbs

Please join me at new writing of 4 short plays by female playwrights (includes one of mine 'Chelsea and Henriette'), produced by all female 'London Grey and Green Theatre' @GreyGreenTheatr at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, Islington @TheHenChickens, Tuesday 17th - Saturday 21st September 2013 'City Slices and Country Crumbs'



Camden Fringe

This week saw the start of the 8th Camden Fringe run by two hardworking and inspirational ladies - Michelle Flower and Zena Barrie. I take my hat off to them, not only were they the co-artistic directors of the Etcetera Theatre in Camden until 2012, they also organise arguably the largest fringe festival in the UK after Edinburgh. Many productions tour both London and Edinburgh - so even if you can't get up to Scotland you can see the same level of talent and diversity closer to home.

This year Female Arts are reviewing 33 shows at the Camden Fringe (and counting) we hope to bring you a comprehensive coverage of shows that have a strong female presence, whether that be writer, director, cast or subject matter.

Please check out our listings for relevant productions that we think you should see. Many shows are on for less than a week, so don't wait for our reviews, decide now! http://femalearts.com/information

All our friends are dead
Lend Me Your Ears
I Am Happy
Me and My Big Mouth
Gender the Elephant
Tea with Terrorists
Sarah Jones Does Not Play Well With Others
Psycho-Geography: An Exercise to Remember My Future
The Hard Comedy: Offline
Very Still and Hard to See
The Wrong Side of Right
The Family Plot
Whispers turn into a Cry
Chris is Dead
A Girlband
Italian Misfit
Stag Nation
Dirty, Flirty, Thirty
Pot Noodles & Knickers
The Destruction of Kreshev
Suzanna Gonzo : Dark Lady
Two Heads are Better than One
Too Cool To Care
No One Belongs Here More Than You
The Bellydancer
Four Femmes on the Thames
Paris, Mon Amour
An Insomniac's Guide To Ambulances
The Philosopher's Tale
Herding Cats
My Dad Sucked Lemons With Bela Bartok
On the Permanence of Fugitive Colors
To Sleep
Warde Street
The Collector
Making It!
Truly, Madly, Keighley
Nuclear Winter
Death By Karaoke
Oyster Boy
Laughter on the Brain

The Camden Fringe runs from 29th July to 25th August with 180 productions at over 17 venues! http://www.camdenfringe.com/

Feminism on ITV This Morning

Just saw Kathy Lette on This Morning she is right to attack the press who created the derogatory term of WAGs. Kathy says that women should be written about as career women in their own right rather than as wives or girlfriends of a more successful partner (whatever the partner does for a living).

It's our birthday!

Female Arts is two this month. Female Arts was launched one month after the birth of my first child in May 2011. Both were a struggle but worthwhile! I'm proud and grateful that in this time we have grown from one writer to over twenty contributors who review and update on events happening across the UK and globally.