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Equity's Women's Committee research into casting

20 June 2012

Last year members of Equity’s Women’s Committee undertook research on published cast lists for a selection of subsidised theatres in England. Their findings are set out below.

The research suggests a casting picture which is shocking but not unexpected. Of the 36 theatres surveyed only one, the Manchester Royal Exchange, appeared to have employed more actresses than actors. A further five, the Royal Court, Soho, Bristol Old Vic, Keswick Theatre by the Lake and Northampton Theatre Royal, had cast slightly more men than women. In the remaining 30 theatres the roles for men significantly outweighed those for women.

Because the research has been compiled from published sources only Equity cannot be certain that it is 100 per cent accurate. Equity has written to all 36 theatres asking them to check the figures and to discuss with Equity the lack of roles for women. Unfortunately, only eight responded.

Casting in a selection of subsidised theatres: 2009/10 season. Figures compiled from published sources.

London theatres

Almeida                                                                      25 male, 13 female
Arcola                                                                          37 male, 17 female
Bush                                                                           23 male, 15 female
Donmar                                                                       59 male, 30 female
Gate                                                                             12 male, 11 female
Hampstead                                                                 32 male, 20 female
Lyric Hammersmith                                                   51 male, 21 female
National Theatre                                                       152 male, 76 female
Open Air Regent’s Park                                           39 male, 21 female 
Orange Tree                                                               46 male, 26 female
Royal Court                                                                68 male, 63 female
Shakespeare’s Globe                                              57 male, 14 female
Soho                                                                           37 male, 31 female
Theatre Royal Stratford East                                   27 male, 15 female
Tricycle                                                                       25 male, 14 female
Young Vic                                                                  24 male, 19 female

Regional Theatres

Birmingham Rep                                                       45 male, 37 female
Bolton Octagon                                                         42 male, 33 female
Bristol Old Vic                                                            19 male, 16 female
Bury St Edmunds                                                     11 male, 8 female
Chichester                                                                 80 male, 48 female
Ipswich                                                                       43 male 25 female
Keswick Theatre By The Lake                                21 male, 20 female
Lancaster Dukes                                                       15 male 7 female 
Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman                     54 male 27 female
Manchester Library                                                   32 male, 22 female
Manchester Royal Exchange                                 43 male, 46 female
Newbury Watermill                                                   47 male, 34 female
Newcastle Under Lyme New Vic                           41 male, 25 female
Newcastle, Northern Stage                                     11 male, 7 female
Northampton                                                              21 male, 20 female
Nottingham                                                                8 male, 7 female
Oldham Coliseum                                                     17 male, 16 female
Oxford Playhouse                                                     21 male, 12 female
Salisbury Playhouse                                                48 male, 30 female
Watford Palace                                                          31 male, 19 female

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