Theatre News

Denise Gough calls for women's equality in the arts

The actress spoke to WhatsOnStage at the Critics’ Circle awards

Denise Gough at the Critics' Circle Awards
Denise Gough at the Critics' Circle Awards
© Dan Wooller

Actress Denise Gough has called for equality in the arts ahead of the launch of a new campaign promoting gender equality.

Speaking to WhatsOnStage at the Critics' Circle Awards, Gough said: "[Women] are 50 per cent of the population yet less than a third of speaking roles in films are women. That's insane.

"We're the ones that go to the theatre, we're the ones that pay for tickets, we're the ones that are watching [the plays] and yet we're not represented."

The actress was promoting a campaign that will be launched at the end of the month. 50:50 by 2018 has been set up by Elizabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp.

"[The campaign will] talk about gender inequality in the arts. So we're going about trying to find ways in which we can keep the conversation going and inspire change.

"I sat in a meeting with three other women actresses, and all of us go up for the same parts. I thought – I'll probably never get to work with these women." Gough continued: "I'm really lucky I work with Headlong [theatre company] who are committed to producing 50 per cent of work by female writers. There's no reason why that can't be done [elsewhere]."

Gough will reprise her role in the new play People, Places and Things at Wyndham's Theatre in March this year. She won the Critics' Circle Award for best actress.

People, Places and Things opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 23 March.