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Poor pay stops mothers being directors – Marianne Elliott

Marianne Elliott.
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West End director Marianne Elliott has claimed ‘terrible’ levels of pay are preventing women with children from pursuing careers in directing.

Elliott, who is behind War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, told The Stage that while the number of women working in directing had improved, many aspiring female directors would not survive in the industry if they had a family to support.

“It’s getting better, but it’s been difficult. The generation in front of me were really forging the way, so it’s slightly easier for me and a lot easier for girls coming up now. But the main thing that is problematic is that directors are paid so terribly,” she said.

Elliott, who has a daughter, added: “If you are a female with children you just won’t do it, as you can’t afford the childcare. It’s as simple as that.”

Elliott was speaking to The Stage at the reopening of the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre, where it has transferred following last year’s ceiling collapse at the Apollo Theatre.

She revealed she would remain as an associate director at the National Theatre under the theatre’s new boss Rufus Norris, who replaces Nicholas Hytner next year. “He asked me if I would stay, so I am staying,” she said, adding: “It’s exciting.”

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