Meryl Streep stands up for women in Irish theatre, as Abbey thanks #WakingtheFeminists for 'wake-up call'

Update 5pm: The Director of the Abbey says the theatre is committed to putting on more plays written by women.

Meryl Streep stands up for women in Irish theatre, as Abbey thanks #WakingtheFeminists for 'wake-up call'

Update 5pm: The Director of the Abbey says the theatre is committed to putting on more plays written by women.

Hundreds of women took part in an event at the Abbey this afternoon, which called for equality for female artists.

Abbey director Fiach MacConghail said: "We have to make an urgent commitment to gender balance, so we don't lose out in the same way in the future. We have #WakingtheFeminists...to thank for this wake-up call.

"The board of the Abbey Theatre have made that commitment this week."

Earlier:

Hollywood star Meryl Streep has lent her support to a new campaign calling for equal rights for Irish women involved in the theatre, #WakingtheFeminists.

The campaign follows the publication of the Abbey Theatre’s programme of plays commemorating the 1916 centenary.

The programme has sparked controversy as only one of the featured plays was written by a woman.

Over 500 gathered for a meeting at the Abbey Theatre today calling for action to be taken to give equal rights for female artists - including parity of pay.

Among the artists who contributed from the Abbey Stage today were Amy Conroy, Derbhle Crotty, Gina Moxley, Caitriona McLoughlin, Rosaleen McDonagh, Oonagh Murphy and Sarah Jane Scaife.

And ended with a rendition Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’.

Alongside Meryl Streep, actors such as Christine Baranski and Debra Messing have also lent their support over the last few days.

The board and director of the Abbey Theatre have acknowledged that their 2016 programme does not represent gender equality, and will release a statement from the meeting in the next few hours.

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up