Company star Rosalie Craig has urged the theatre industry to be more “human” when it comes to the needs of performers with children.
She described it as “baffling” that the sector is not more accommodating to people with caring responsibilities and said job shares should be more commonplace in the industry.
Craig, a mother herself, said conversations backstage with cast members of Company tended to be about the need for the industry to be more flexible.
“We need to make this industry more accessible for everybody, across the board, in terms of people expecting children, fathers and mothers. I have found the most challenging thing about doing a West End run is wanting to be a good mother at the same time. The hours don’t afford you that time,” she said.
She added: “I can only speak on behalf of performers in terms of my experience, but we need to make sure we are not rehearsing into the evenings and we don’t need to rehearse every night – especially if, when we get into a run, we are performing every night and our children start asking ‘Where are you?’.”
Craig said there should be more job shares in the industry, following on from Charlene Ford making history by becoming the first West End performer to job share a role in the musical 42nd Street.
She said it should be “celebrated” if two performers, who are parents, want to split a role.
She added: “We need to make it more human. We are in a business of emotions and putting humans on stage – it’s baffling to me that we don’t represent that ourselves in the workplace.”
Craig was speaking to The Stage at an event to honour this year’s Olivier Awards nominees. She has been nominated for best actress in a musical and the awards take place on April 7 at the Royal Albert Hall.