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Monica Dolan: ‘Female writers are not getting the opportunities they deserve’

Monica Dolan
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Actor Monica Dolan has called on the theatre and TV to better support female writers, claiming organisations are currently too focused on ticking boxes.

Dolan, whose credits include W1A as well as theatre shows such as The B*easts – which she also wrote – said TV commissioners in particular had “got to become aware that female writers aren’t going to lose them money.”

She told The Stage: “There are lots of female writers in development but they don’t seem to get the commissions. I think something needs to change there.”

Her comments follow an open letter written by leading actors and writers, criticising the number of male writers on major TV drama series compared with women.

Dolan added: “The problem is, the more organisations think that it’s about how they’re perceived publicly, the more they are concerned with being seen to just have that box ticked. And actually there are lots of women coming up through directing, writing and all sorts of artistic forms, whose careers are growing organically. If people would just listen and keep their eyes open and notice those women, they needn’t be so concerned with box ticking and so concerned with targets, but just be concerned with not excluding those women.”

She added: “You’d be very surprised how many artistic partnerships that include women are split up, so men can focus on the men in the partnerships.”

Dolan was speaking to The Stage after The B*easts, which ran at the Bush Theatre, was nominated for an Olivier award in the outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre category.

Olivier Awards 2018: the nominations in full

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