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On my week with Christian Slater and Amy Sherman-Palladino

As I settle back into a fulltime writing routine (the need for employment sated by savings from a recent contract position), I find that I have also thrown myself back into the cultural pulse of London. The last few weeks have been a rush of theatre, literary events, screenings and exhibitions, each event offering injections of inspiration that get me through the highs and lows of my writing stints at the library.

This week was no different. Except it was.

There is a reason for the lateness in my posting. There were two events I was scheduled to attend this week and I knew I needed to experience both before writing my latest blog post. Because this week, of all weeks (what with women raising their voices against abuse and thus causing the patriarchy to whimper and begins its implosion) I attended events that were very much led by the different sexes.  

I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

Firstly, Monday night. Months ago, I secured theatre tickets for Glengarry Glen Ross. I did this for one reason only.

Christian Slater.
Does what it says on the box
Seeing him onstage was not something I was going to pass up, my teenage self wouldn’t allow it. And so I headed to The Playhouse Theatre with my heart in my throat and my teenage self chanting ohmygodohmygod over and over again as I blocked out the fact that winter was very much in the air.

Cut to 9.45pm, the play done, my eyes satisfied with images of a still ridiculously attractive Slater and an overwhelming feeling of… meh. The all-male cast and their salesmen characters felt like they no longer belonged to today’s world. Their laments sounded laughably glib, their privilege oozing with each word they uttered. The production was terrific, as were the actors, but the material was.tired. And I was over it. I couldn’t connect with the characters or the story and I didn’t want to. This isn’t the play for now.

(As a sidebar, because I haven’t managed another blog post about it, the play Venus in Fur with Natalie Dormer and David Oakes very much IS a play for now. Brilliant.)

And so to Thursday night where I attended a screening for the new show from Amy ‘Gilmore Girls’ Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino. My twenty-year-old self was a walking lightning rod of expectation and excitement. Not only was I about to watch the pilot for a show I knew would offer strong female characters and strong female relationships, but I was going to be IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE WOMAN WHO GAVE US LORELAI GILMORE. Ahem. I was looking forward to the night’s festivities.

Two mini bottles of (free) champagne later and the night was anything but ‘meh’. I’m holding judgment on 'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' for now as we were just shown the pilot, but I could at least breathe a sigh of relief in that, yes, strong female characters and their relationships with each other was front and centre. Thank f*ck.
And it might have been the champagne, or the good will a goodie bag brings, but my goodness it was an event to lift the spirits. Women working together, championing each other and creating content for a wider audience.
Life is better with a goodie bag, not gonna lie.

I only hope it continues.

As ASP rightly said, until there is more balance at the top with women in just as many seats of power as men – and this is true of any industry – nothing will really change. The expectation of privilege will still lead to the abuse and unfair treatment of those with less power, the cycle spinning on and on. It’s no longer time for tired material that holds a mirror up to how things used to be. It’s time for a new vision. A new way forward. A new way of working together. Of creating a world that isn’t the clusterf*ck it is right now.

It’s time to expect, to want, to demand more. 


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