‘Hayley Atwell’s multi-layered performance reveals a heroine like no other’: ROSMERSHOLM – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

Duke of York’s Theatre, London – until 20 July 2019

The pursuit of great roles for women has driven much recent theatre discussion but relatively little action in the last two years, and despite the global impact of the #MeToo movement, male-centric dramas by male writers are still by far the norm. New works including The Writer and Dance Nation at the Almeida as well as the West End success of Nine Night, Emilia and Home, I’m Darling are gaining ground, putting diverse female stories centre stage. But revivals are just as vital to the continued success of the West End, which seem to limit the roles for women, but perhaps we’re just not commissioning the right plays.

Shakespeare may have left few truly great parts for women, but elsewhere the classical canon is full of substantial leading ladies, particularly in works written a hundred or so years ago when arguably the theatrical landscape was more progressive than it seems now. There has been renewed interest in late 19th and early-20th century dramatists at fringe theatres across London – DH Lawrence’s play The Daughte