Came across this article by Max Stafford-Clark, in which he talks about the pressures on young female playwrights;
‘It’s very hard for playwrights – male or female – to sustain a career in the theatre…’
‘It is right that we celebrate a new generation of talented female playwrights, but the idea that this is a new phenomenon, or particularly zeitgeisty, is a media construct. It doesn’t reflect the truth, and it does the writers it purports to celebrate a disservice.’
‘Let us celebrate youth by all means, but let’s strive less for the zeitgeist, and endeavour to support writers of all ages and sexes because they happen to be talented, not because they are new.’
It’s this last paragraph that really chimes. Those readers who are writers know what a collossal effort it can sometimes take before you get anywhere… and if you’re not new, young, sexy and malleable it also seems like it’s quite a bit more trouble.
It’s interesting to note that the article also alludes to the female writers who have gone before. The 17percent website, currently in development, will have a history of female writers from the early days of the theatre to now.