On paying it forward, mentoring and January

Another January Monday, another request to help give someone a leg up into arts. I am very lucky. My 18 year old self does not know that such a person as I can exist. Much less that I’ll get to be her. This very afternoon I have booked three theatre tickets to three shows all of which I know the origin of, all of which … Continue reading On paying it forward, mentoring and January

An Artist in Parliament?*

The second session I called at #DandD12 yesterday (see prev post for details) I called this session because Tristram Hunt has resigned as an MP to take up the Directorship of the V&A. He is a noted art historian and has made a number TV programmes and led academic programmes. He has said that V&A should reinstate charges. So he himself is not necessarily the … Continue reading An Artist in Parliament?*

Why does [insert name of famous actress] keep her grey hair in a bag?


This conversation started between two people and eventually the whole room was kind enough to join. It’s rather longer than most blog posts….

I’m not sure if we said or learned anything that isn’t in another report in open space somewhere else. However open spacers know that Sometimes a thing needs saying many times until someone steps forward with an action …. To break the cycle. Please….feel free.

A few points of info for context.

I’m 48, I’m female, a theatre-maker and I have taken a conscious decision to be grey-haired. I’m campaigning for the Women’s Equality Party in the London Elections so I’m not in a neutral space about this issue. I declare my interest 😉

I’d just come from a morning surrounded by mostly younger women and had forgotten until I arrived at the D&D and was suddenly conscious of how my legs and hips were tired, after hours of walking and canvassing, that I was the twice the age of the women I’d been working with.

I remembered that my hair was grey. I became 48 again.Whatever that means.

  • Women
  • Theatre
  • Ageing….

I remembered that in a theatre green room, I once had a long conversation with a famous and incredible actress with a long history of writing and producing – about the grey moment. And that became my question to this group.

Despite being a Dame, and a household name, a trail blazer in TV, this actor kept her own grey-haired wig in a bag in her handbag and sported a dyed head of hair. It was a survival strategy and everyone (by which she meant all the female actors she knew of her generation) needed and deployed it. It came up again at a model box showing on another production with another woman of similar national treasure status. Continue reading “Why does [insert name of famous actress] keep her grey hair in a bag?”

It was a small moment in history.

You may not have noticed it yet but you will. History is being made this week. A group of women and one man from London and Wales gathered yesterday morning for a workshop focusing on the London and Welsh Assembly elections. Most of us had put ourselves forward to stand as candidates in either London or Wales for the Women’s Equality Party. A few people … Continue reading It was a small moment in history.