Rosalie Craig, the star of the West End’s gender-swapped Company, has said she hopes the production’s success will encourage producers and writers to tell more female-driven stories.
Craig said the concept of the show was indicative of “what we are trying to represent in theatre as women”.
“We’re saying that you can put a real woman on stage, with real issues, and it’s great that people are excited by that.”
Speaking ahead of the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, where she won best musical performance for her portrayal of Bobbie, she told The Stage: “There are huge swathes of people who want to hear a woman’s story, and they’re [at the show] every night in droves, identifying with it and finding it hilarious and moving. It really is time for women to step forward, definitely.
“It gives [the industry] a massive encouragement to be brave, and to think that people do want to hear these stories and people do want women on stage speaking. It’s not a mad idea. It’s not really radical anymore.”
Craig said receptions to the rebooted Sondheim musical had been “really mind-blowing”, but that she had initially worried audiences might not get behind the casting, which also flips the gender of several other characters.
“People have started to say that they can’t think of the piece any other way now. For something that we were so nervous about being accepted, [the idea] that people are saying ‘We can’t imagine it any other way’ is more than I could ever have imagined,” Craig added.
Her award was one of two for Company at this year’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, with Marianne Elliott also winning for best director.
Elliott dedicated the accolade to everybody involved in the show, especially its creative team, who she said encouraged her “to really grow some balls and take this creative risk”.