In an open letter to ACE chair Nicholas Serota, female theatre leaders including Julia Pascal have accused Arts Council England of displaying a “serious disregard” for women in its new 10-year strategy.
We are writing to express our deep disappointment with Let’s Create, the recently published 10-year Arts Council strategy.
Before it was launched, our group met with you and colleagues at the Arts Council to emphasise the endemic inequality faced by women in the arts.
During these meetings ACE assured us that our objective to achieve 50/50 parity would be seriously considered as part of the strategy. However, the new ACE plan barely mentions women, with only brief references in the introduction and conclusion.
It was clear to us that if the issue of female parity was not enshrined in the Strategy, it would be ignored. ACE has missed this vital opportunity to set out a strategy to achieve 50/50 representation.
We are presenting our research and that of our colleagues in Equity, Era 50:50, SDUK, the Writers’ Guild, Black Womxn in Theatre, and University Women In The Arts, and discussing the ACE Strategy, on February 25 at Trafalgar Studio 2 at 1.30pm-5pm.
We would be delighted if you could join us and clarify what seems to us a serious disregard for female artists.
All very best wishes,
Sue Parrish, artistic director of Sphinx Theatre Maureen Beattie, president, Equity Polly Kemp, co-founder of Era 50: 50 Jennifer Tuckett, director of University Women in the Arts and academic Titilola Dawudu, co-founder, Black Womxn in Theatre Julia Pascal, the first female director at the National Theatre at the South Bank Brigid Larmour, artistic director of Watford Palace Theatre
On behalf of the December Group
Owing to the current Coronavirus emergency we are not holding a public live event on 5 July but we shall be livestreaming fascinating discoveries, interviews and talks on that day. Please watch this space.
Site-Responsive Heritage Arts Performance Project & Installation
We are looking for volunteer performers, musicians, researchers, historians, artists & enthusiasts of all ages to join us in this exciting heritage arts project .
Rehearsals for the contemplative artistic guided tour ‘One Lost Stone’ will happen in London up to July 2020. We are exploring the histories of Sephardic Jews in Britain around the NOVO CEMETERY in London. The hidden history of the Sephardi Jews in England still has traces in the Novo Cemetery in the grounds of Queen Mary University, London. Following the 1492 expulsion of Jews from what is now Spain, Sephardim settled chiefly around the Mediterranean basin, notably in the Ottoman Empire. Many also converted outwardly to Catholicism, while secretly practicing Judaism. Some of these crypto-Jews settled in England in the middle of the 17th century, and laid the basis for a Sephardi community that came to affirm their Judaism openly again. Sephardim arrived on this island speaking Spanish and Portuguese and cooking Mediterranean style. They also brought their own Spanish, Portuguese, and Arab musical heritage. Using original archival material,poetry, sound and visuals we will reveal and activate a forgotten legacy and explore the subtle re-establishment of Jewish life in England.
Produced by Julia Pascal & Susannah Kraft Levene
Event Director: Thomas Kampe
Assistant Director: Matthew Emeny
Set & Costume: Lesley Lightfoot
Sound & Music: Ronen Kozokaro
Production Manager & Technical Director: Jules Deering
Videography: Mark Norfolk & Yaron Lapid
COST: Workshops & rehearsals are free (you don’t have to be able to attend all of them; there will be some support for travel expenses)
Enquiries & Enrolment :
For Performance volunteer workshops ‘ONE LOST STONE’ contact
Pascal Theatre Company explores contemporary life through theatre, film, new writing and radical re-interpretations of the classics. The Company’s work features site-specific heritage events as well as drama workshops. We engage with diverse communities by reaching out to those marginalised in society through the productions and an Education Programme. The Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this major learning project where volunteers will research archives and learn interviewing techniques to prepare a legacy for future generations.
Pascal Theatre Company is working with Bevis Marks Synagogue, Manchester Jewish Museum, Bath Spa University and Queen Mary University of London with an Educational Programme linked to the project continuing throughout 2019 and 2020.
Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019. Finborough Theatre
“If I am a virgin. If the enemy catch me. You know what they will do…”
Kurdish freedom fighter Medea escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. Slipping through immigration, Medea discovers how to exist on the margins of London life. Working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed, the son of Iraqi immigrants. Their attraction results in the birth of twin boys. Medea believes that she has finally found a new home, a new family and a new life.
But when Jason-Mohammed’s father decides that his son must marry Glauke, an Iraqi cousin, Medea realises that she will lose both her sons and her safe haven in the UK.
As her whole world falls apart, she is forced to accept that she has nothing to lose by revenging herself – destroying the lives who those who have betrayed her and keeping her sons’ spirits with her forever…
Based on interviews with Kurdish fighters living in the UK, and written and directed by the first woman ever to direct at the National Theatre, Blueprint Medea is an award-winning new drama loosely inspired by Euripides’ Medea, which connects the classical to the contemporary to explore eternal questions of passion, war, cultural identity, women’s freedom, sex, family and love.
Written and Directed by Julia Pascal
Designed by Kati Hind
Presented by Pascal Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.
“A hard-hitting but compelling evening.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Robert Jackman, Spectator Life 2019
“The play, written and directed by Julia Pascal – and enjoying its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre – is powerful fare.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture 2019
“[Blueprint Medea] successfully spans vastly different worlds and cultural expectations all within the tiny intimate space that is the stage of the Finborough Theatre. Blueprint Medea is a multifaceted and complex drama, and is capable of making a connection with audiences wherever they may be.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“[Blueprint Medea] provides a powerful and hard-hitting female tale inspired by direct interviews with Kurdish freedom fighters, perfect for the intimacy and simplicity of fringe theatre.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Francis Nash, The Upcoming 2019
“In Julia Pascal’s modern reconception of the ancient Greek tragedy, she is reborn as a former fighter for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)…It is an inspired transposition, and the themes of exile and female agency resonate in the modern day.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“An engaging and dynamic production, admirable for its risk-taking and originality of vision.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“A modern adaptation of Euripides’s devastating Greek tragedy, in which a scorned wife exacts bloody and heartbreaking revenge. Julia Pascal’s new version draws heavily on interviews with Kurds living in the UK and explores issues around immigration, cultural identity and female autonomy” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“The script becomes beautifully laced with Lorcaesque poetry.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“To have such a profound effect highlights the power and importance of fringe theatre and writers like Pascal providing a voice for these voiceless females onstage.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“The undeniable richness and power of the storytelling and performances.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, David Guest, The Reviews Hub 2019
“Pascal’s writing style skilfully combines the demotic with the poetic.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance 2019
“Strong individual performances and moments of beautiful storytelling.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Emma Lamond, London Pub Theatres 2019
The world premiere ★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Close-Up Culture 2019 ★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, The Upcoming 2019 ★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Jewish Renaissance 2019
I am currently researching a new play about Hannah Arendt, Charlotte Salomon and Eva Daube who were all arrested in France in 1940. The research is fascinating. This is a part of French history which is hardly known except to historians. Salomon and Arendt make fleeting references to their incarceration in this detention camp. I discovered that the majority of prisoners were female from babies to 90 year olds. Today nothing exists of the camp only placards which reveal some of the history. Vichy’s past is still partly hidden.
Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Previews: 4 Aug 2015
Press Night: 5 Aug 2015 (7pm)
Plays until: 29 Aug 2015
Tue – Sat Evenings 19.45
Thu & Sat Matinees 15.15
Jerusalem at the height of the last intifada. A wife wants to celebrate her 30th birthday. A husband does not want to have a son. A businesswoman wants to sell an apartment block. A daughter wants to shock her mother. A brother wants to kill soldiers. A soldier wants to stop soldiering. Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestians all meet on one day as bombs explode.
“Old Newland by Julia Pascal is a standout play performed by the charismatic Stephen Fewell. With brilliant subtlety Julia Pascal weaves a vivid metaphor through Jewish teaching involving the substitution of Rachel for Leah in marriage to Jacob. She channels a comparison to the displacement of peoples across Palestine, Holocaust camps and Ireland through Old Newland as he dies not a Jew, an Irishman, a husband or a soldier-but a human being alone in a hospital. Soaked in memory and conflict but equalized in vulnerability” http://www.themetropolist.com/arts-theatre/reviews-arts-theatre/review-walking-tightrope-theatre-delicatessen/ Walking The Tightrope:The Tension Between Art & Politics at Theatre Delicatessen, Metropolist 28/01/2015
Until Sunday 1st February Theatre Delicatessen, Farringdon
Offstage Theatre in association with Theatre Uncut
Sex and violence in Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Paris. Political murder in suburban London. Death, love and homicide in New York. War in the belly of a whale. These are the themes in Julia Pascal’s latest collection which takes place in Europe in 1982, in London in 1946 and in a whale at any time.
An exploration of a secret history that happened in London just after the end of the war. Why was there a plot to assassinate Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary by right-wing Jewish activists? When does loyalty to nation state conflict with loyalty to nation?