Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leading Role for a Man in Our Life Stories

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Leading Role for a Man in Our Life Stories

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLOTTE ROSS

THIS week I've been wondering if we're back in the Eighties. Or possibly the Twenties. It started on Saturday when I went to see Her Naked Skin, a play set during the suffragette era. It's been held up as the bright future of theatre because it is the first by a woman Rebecca Lenkiewicz to make the main Olivier stage at the National.

Frankly that is a bit shocking. Even my Tube driver this morning was a woman. But when a play's flagged up as groundbreaking in this way, you expect a few surprises.

Instead it was like a feminist studies lesson: lesbianism check, oppressive bourgeois marriage check, cartoonishly offensive men check. Is this what everyone was getting their bloomers in a twist about? I remain baffled as to why the National chose such hackneyed subject-matter to debut an undoubtedly talented writer. I'd so much rather have seen a great play by a woman, not one that symbolises the struggle. Have we not moved on at all, I wondered? Apparently not. New findings indicate a growing scepticism of the benefits to family life of working mothers. Thanks to the female academic behind that study, we're now debating whether women should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, or Prada suited and booted in the boardroom. …

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