There has been quite a lot of talk about the 2016 programme for Dublin's Abbey Theatre over the last few weeks, with many alleging that the programme - dubbed 'Waking the Nation' as it is focused on works based around 1916 - does not represent the work of female playwrights, with only two included in the entire year.

Over the last week, a 'Waking the Feminists' movement has started on social media, with many Irish and international celebrities - including American actress Debra Messing - lending their support to the campaign which calls for equality for women in Irish theatre.

The mounting pressure has led to Ireland's national theatre acknowledging that the 2016 programme 'does not represent gender equality' in a statement released today.

They also announced plans to host a lunchtime debate on the topic next Thursday, November 12th at 1pm.

The full statement read:

"9 November 2015

The Board and Director of the Abbey Theatre acknowledge that the 2016 programme does not represent gender equality.

The Board commits to work with the Director and new incoming Directors to develop a comprehensive policy and detailed plan to help address gender equality with the cooperation and input of the wider Irish theatre community.

The Board and Director of the Abbey Theatre have acknowledged and approved requests received for the Abbey auditorium to host a #WakingTheFeminists debate on Thursday 12 November at 1pm."


Main pic via