Telling stories with imagination.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Metta likes...Mothers

Today is Mother's Day so in honour of the three wonderful women without whom Metta wouldn't exist - namely Ruthie Alexander-Morgan (Poppy's mum), Jo Reynolds (Will's mum) and Bridget Doole (Heather's mum) - we want to celebrate, appreciate and dedicate this to mothers everywhere. But our mums in particular have been instrumental in the development of Metta - without their endless love & support we wouldn't be where we are today, so thank you. And we love you.

I hosted a debate at the Young Vic last week on women working in theatre which began to explore gender issues - and what exactly those issues were - so inevitably the question of balancing motherhood and career-hood came up.
Of course juggling a family and a career is not an issue restricted to the theatre industry, nor is it restricted to women alone, but it is still the case (sadly) that many female theatre professionals are forced to be less than totally up front about whether they have or are expecting children because of perceptions of commitment (or lack thereof) to the job. Such discrimination in job interviews is in fact illegal, but nonetheless it goes on - and I've several (female) colleagues who have been asked about whether they had or were expecting children as part of an interview process - so this week I want to fly the flag for working with mothers.

Three of the creative team for our production of Sexing The Cherry are mothers (it is also a production very much about motherhood - although the Dog-Woman is a somewhat unconventional mother figure) and they are the most committed members of the team (they also have a wealth of patience and tact, no doubt partly through bringing up children). Far from splitting their focus I would argue being mothers distills and focuses it - their time and resources are inevitably limited so when they are in meetings they are 100% present because they really want to be there and they take on fewer projects so those that they do take on they really care about. At the end of the day looking after another human being is fundamentally more important than looking after a show - and a little of that sort of perspective is very useful in a world of such intense inward focus, as theatre is. So Kate, Layla Clare - we salute you. And to all the other theatre mums out there - come and work for Metta!

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