Sunday 16 December 2018

Roddy Doyle not aware of 'misogynistic men' in theatre

Acclaimed author and dramatist Roddy Doyle. Photo:
Acclaimed author and dramatist Roddy Doyle. Photo:

Mark O'Regan

Acclaimed author and dramatist Roddy Doyle has said he has never witnessed any sexual harassment or abuse of power in the Irish theatre world.

His comments follow a decision by leading figures in Irish drama to join together and issue a collective statement on the issue after the Harvey Weinstein controversy.

The signatories state they wish to put renewed focus on the risk of sexual abuse and harassment in the film, theatre, media, entertainment and theatrical industries.

Gate Theatre artist director Selina Cartmell and Abbey Theatre directors Neil Murray and Graham McLaren are among those supporting the initiative. Also included is Garry Hynes of Druid and Rough Magic's Lynne Parker.

Cian O'Brien of the Project Arts Centre, Willie White of the Dublin Theatre Festival, and Kris Nelson of the Dublin Fringe Festival are among those backing the campaign.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Doyle said that while he fully endorsed the statement, he had never personally encountered unsavoury activity.

"I've encountered frayed tempers, nerves, anxiety and other things in the run-up to an opening night, but I've never encountered anything misogynistic or anything of that nature. It would be standard stuff that I'd expect in any rehearsal room - but I've never witnessed anything untoward in that way."

It is understood the decision by the directors of Ireland's leading theatres and theatre organisations to issue a statement was prompted by the fallout from the Weinstein controversy.

"We are committed to working together to raise awareness and to create a safe culture and environment where unacceptable behaviour can be addressed and challenged," the statement read.

"We are committed to supporting those who speak out, and to listen closely and carefully when they do. The welfare and wellbeing of everyone working in our theatres is of paramount importance."

Sunday Independent

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