News: Tonic Theatre celebrates women successes on stage

A theatre that promotes gender equality has set up a series of events profiling the achievements of women in the stage world.

Tonic Theatre Celebrates, which begins 22 June at London’s Ambassadors Theatre, will gather inspirational women from across the theatrical world to discuss their successes.

The inaugural event, where tickets start at £5, will see Tonic Theatre’s director Lucy Kerbel in conversation with lighting designer Paule Constable, artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre Indhu Rubasingham, and playwright Jessica Swale.

Kerbel said the event was created: “Partly to give these impressive women the profiling they rightly deserve and partly so that other women out there go ‘oh yeah, someone like me can be and are leading figures in the field’.

“I fear otherwise, for women, reading all the bad press around the lack of female representation in the arts it would be easy to get quite despondent.”

Constable is a multi-award winning lighting designer, whose accolades include a Tony and four Olivier awards. Swale wrote Nell Gwynna play that transferred from the Globe to the West End this year, and she is currently writing a film script for the production. Rubasingham’s work for the Tricycle includes Red Velvetwhich transferred to New York, and the award winning Handbagged.

 Kerbel said on the choice of guests: “We’ve gone for women who have a really interesting mix of skills and experiences under their belts. In future events we’d love to have producers, casting directors, educators, production managers, technicians; all sorts really.”

Tonic Theatre supports the theatre industry to achieve greater gender equality in its workforces and repertoires. One of their goals is to ensure that female talent can rise to the top.

Tonic Celebrates also aims to demystify the career path of these successful women as Kerbel explained: “Part of the thinking behind Tonic Celebrates was to give younger people the chance to ask top theatre makers about the paths they took to attain the success they have.

“What advice they would give their younger selves if they could, and how, if they were starting out today, they would play things.”

Image of Indhu Rubasingham. Credit: Mark Douet.