27 February 2016 3-6pm

D&D Vault Fest Satellite: Women, Theatre, And Ageing: Will There

Always Be A 'Last F*Ckable Day'?

The Vaults Leake Street, South Bank, London SE1 7NN


An invitation from Lowri Jenkins, actor & writer:

Has anybody seen Amy Schumer’s sketch “Last Fuckable Day”?

In it she stumbles across three talented, successful female actresses enjoying a picnic

in a park. Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Patricia Arquette and Tina Fey. When Amy asks what

they are celebrating, they say they are toasting Julia’s “last fuckable day” – that’s the

last day that TV producers think it’s believable that anyone would want to fuck her.

These actresses are in their 40s and early 50s. They are beautiful and funny and very,

most definitely, sexy. They are also definitely “fuckable” to their husbands, partners

and a multitude of fans. But apparently, by our culture’s standards, they aren’t worth

the time of day. Once they aren’t ‘sexy’ enough to be the ingénue, they are left to play

the grandma; whilst their male counterparts play opposite women half their age.

The scene was made in response to 37-year old actress Maggie Gyllenhaal revealing

that she was turned down for a role playing the love interest of a 55-year-old man

because she was deemed “too old”.

As a female performer ageing is a constant worry. At 29 I am already “too old” for

half the female parts out there – and there’s not exactly a wealth of roles awaiting

actresses as they hit their 30s and beyond. I’m not just worried about ageing as an

actor, I’m worried about where having kids fits into that – and whether that affects

how “fuckable” I’m supposed to be on stage or screen. I’m also worried about how

this ageism, skewed against women, seems to pervade backstages as well. I’m also

pissed off! Where do we go from here? How do we build for the future, so that we

don’t have a “last fuckable day”?

I’ve set up a company with my colleague Jennifer Fletcher to create our own roles,

and to contribute to a culture where there are more women in charge of companies,

directing artistic decisions and organising businesses. All this in a world women still

get paid around 20% less than men, where there are more men called John in charge

of big businesses than women, and where a choreographer as respected as Akram

Khan can get away with saying women shouldn’t be given arts jobs “for the sake of

it”. Thanks Akram.

We live in a world where standards, systems, tastes and values are all dictated by

men, and those values say that women are worth less, and are only worth something

when they are young.

So how do we build a future? How do we combat ageism in theatre, and its grizzly

cousin, the gender pay gap, which surely has something to do with it? And finally,

how can we create work that shows that women, whatever their age, can be leaders,

well-paid, fuckable and in charge? Come along to this Devoted & Disgruntled Open

Space to share your ideas, plans and questions. Men, women, old, young, and all

those in-between are welcome to come help change the world..

Booking for this event has now closed.