Theatrical powerhouse and stalwart London performance space The King’s Head Theatre has achieved incredible heights in its nearly 50 year life as a London pub theatre. Its next show, 90’s parody musical 2 Become 1, is set to again take the London theatre scene by storm – but there’s new ground being broken on this production. This will be the first full production at the venue that has an entirely female cast and crew.
The show, which returns after sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and a run at the King’s Head Theatre in 2016, packs in the energy of an unrelenting party and a night out with the girls, filled with charm, hilarity and good old-fashioned girl power.
Co-writer and performer Natasha Granger says: “The 90’s was the start of girl power: a time when women could really start expressing their sexuality, and where they didn’t have to fit into the mould of the ‘perfect woman’. However, 20 years on, we’re still in a time when women are under-represented in the arts. This is why being an all-female cast and creative team was really important to us when creating 2 Become 1. We wanted to create a piece of musical comedy that is about four females, from the female perspective, but can be enjoyed by anyone.”
Co-writer and performer Kerrie Thomason adds: “It was a time when strong bonds between female friends were actively celebrated, and this is our tribute to that.”
The King’s Head Theatre has already been setting the bar very high for theatres in the capital, thanks to an in-house agreement with Equity that guarantees ethical employment for actors and creatives, whilst their resident trainee director scheme provides comprehensive, vocational training to the rising stars of tomorrow – and (as a policy) has a 50:50 male to female ratio.
Previous trainee director Jennifer Davis says: “I’ve often had instances where I walk into a room full of theatre professionals, and five minutes into the meeting, I realise: ‘I’m the only woman in here’. The King’s Head Theatre Trainee Director Scheme has not only provided me with director training, mentoring and many professional opportunities, it has empowered me. It’s now been 2 years since I went for my first interview, and the difference in me is astounding. Their commitment to training and supporting female directors is exemplary and without it, I doubt I’d still be making theatre.”
Senior Producer Louisa Davis says: “I originally trained in technical theatre, where it felt quite clear from the outset that the women were being pushed into stage management and the men were favoured for more technical careers. I still find myself quite shocked that, in an industry which is seen to be very accepting and welcoming to all, I would still get questioned about who would be actually climbing the ladder to change the bulbs. Or when I turn up to venues and get asked who my Production Manager is. Since moving into producing, I still find a male imbalance, from producers making work through to who they are hiring and collaborating with.”
She concludes: “There is still a long way to go, but I feel as a fringe venue we have a responsibility to encourage more women into every role in the arts, and to start setting this precedent earlier in people’s careers, in the hope of making a difference to the wider theatre community.”