At this year’s VAULT Festival, Small Things Theatre Company’s season of female-focused new work includes two fundraising events for the UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign, including a panel discussion on what practical actions could actually help lead to change. Do you have thoughts? Are you looking for recommendations? Read up on the inspiring panel taking part on Friday 9 March 2018 – and then get booking via the links below!
How can we engage a male and female audience to inspire a change of culture that can help bring attitudes towards women and gender equality into the 21st century?
This What Actually Helps? panel discussion, held in support the UN Women’s #HeForShe and Arts Week 2018, features prominent voices from the arts industry and beyond. Join the panel and Small Things Theatre Company to discuss how men, women, businesses, organisations and those who find themselves in positions of power can help enable change by highlighting how we break damaging behavioural habits and take steps to alter negative attitudes towards women.
Sophie Walker, The Women’s Equality Party
Sophie is Founding Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Britain’s first feminist political party, which was formed in 2015 to speed up the glacial pace of change and put women’s rights at the top of the agenda. In 2016, she ran for London Mayor on a manifesto to close the city’s 23% pay gap and lack of affordable childcare and won 1 in every 20 votes cast. In 2017, she contested the ‘men’s rights activist’ MP Philip Davies after he filibustered a bill to end violence against women and girls, and helped to halve his constituency majority. A former Reuters correspondent of 20 years, Sophie came to politics via disability campaigning and activism when her daughter was diagnosed with autism. Sophie is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society and for IncludeMEtoo, supporting disabled children and their families from diverse backgrounds.
Robert Webb, Actor and author of How Not to Be a Boy
Robert grew up in Lincolnshire as a prelude to Cambridge University. He joined Cambridge Footlights where he met David Mitchell and went on to form one of the UK’s most successful comedy partnerships. Together, they were nominated for and won a clutch of BAFTAs for their starring roles in Channel 4’s longest-running sitcom, Peep Show, and That Mitchell and Webb Look for BBC2. In theatre, Robert starred as the title role, Bertie Wooster, in the West End version of Jeeves and Wooster – Perfect Nonsense and played Roy in the all-star West End transfer of Neville’s Island. In 2016, Robert revived the iconic “Jeremy” in the ninth and final series of Peep Show and led the cast in Our ExWife for BBC 2. Also on TV, he joined the Cold Feet family as the new rogue in its much-anticipated return to ITV and reunited with David Mitchell for a new Channel 4 sitcom pilot, Back, about a dysfunctional family running a pub. This Mitchell and Webb Book was published by Fourth Estate in 2009, his memoir How Not to Be a Boy was published in 2017 and will be followed by his first novel in a landmark book deal with Canongate and Audible. Webb is a regular columnist for the New Statesman.
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation
From September 2015 to October 2016, Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From January 2013 to September 2015, she was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cybersecurity, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From October 2010 to January 2013, she was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure, working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM.
Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010, she worked as Head of Telecom’s Technology at the UK regulator Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks. Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France. Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s ‘MP’ in mock elections aged 17.
David Brockway, The Good Lad Initiative
David is the manager of the Great Men project. The project runs workshops with teenage boys in UK secondary schools promoting gender equality and questioning what “being a man” does, doesn’t, should and could mean. David feels that questioning all forms of inequality and their impact upon society should be a standard part of every young person’s education. As well as running workshops David has helped contribute to various Select Committee enquiries and APPG’s discussing the impact of gender inequality in UK school’s and how a better preventative approach can be enacted.
About Small Things
Small Things Theatre aspires to delight, fascinate and challenge by producing and nurturing new theatre with a strong focus on education. The company collaborates with playwrights, actors, musicians, comedians and poets and, through its regular Night Of Small Things, provides a platform for artists to experiment and showcase their work. The Small Things education department reaches out to and inspires students of all ages. All plays staged carry a strong social message, which is explored further in workshops and post-show discussions.
At the 2018 VAULT Festival, the Small Things season also comprises two new productions – Cordelia O’Neill‘s Anything Is Possible If You Think About It Hard Enough and Jessica Butcher and Sacha Voit‘s Boots – as well as a second major #HeForShe fundraising event, a Night of Small Things variety performance, including new work contributions from playwrights Simon Stephens and Tamsin Oglesby.