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Denise Gough backs Equal Representation for Actresses campaign

Denise Gough at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. Photo: Stephen Pover

Actor Denise Gough is backing a new campaign aimed at boosting the representation of women on stage and screen, claiming the issue is “everyone’s problem”.

Gough, who transfers to the West End with the National Theatre’s production of People, Places and Things in March, said she was supporting a new campaign called Equal Representation for Actresses – 50:50 by 2018. The campaign has been formed by a number of performers, including Elizabeth Berrington, best known for her appearances in TV shows such as Waterloo Road.

The campaign will officially launch later this month, and one of its first aims will be to call on the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to sign up to a “commitment to achieve an equal gender balance on screen by 2018”.

Gough, speaking to The Stage at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, where she was named best actress for People, Places and Things [1], said: “This campaign… asks for equal representation for actresses, because 51% of the population are women and less than a third of parts on screen are for women.”

She added: “It’s got to change and the more we talk about it the better. The more we are represented, the more we can talk about the pay gap and all of that, so we can start feeling a bit more like we are represented for who we are – we are 51% of the population. We are the ones who go to the theatre, for God’s sake.”

Gough went on to say that the conversations have to “keep happening, as it’s everyone’s problem”.

“I want to act in a world where everyone is represented,” she said.