●      After a sell-out first festival in 2015, Women Centre Stage returns to celebrate more and better roles for women in UK theatre.

●      Women Centre Stage: Power Play will take place at Hampstead Theatre on the 20th November 2016.

●      Supporters include Dame Janet Suzman, April de Angelis, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Ann Mitchell, andLucy Kirkwood.

Sphinx Theatre has today announced that WOMEN CENTRE STAGE: POWER PLAY will be taking place on the 20th of November with a full venue takeover of Hampstead Theatre.

 Edward Hall – Artistic Director, Hampstead Theatre says I’m delighted that Hampstead Theatre can offer its support by providing a platform to keep this urgent and important festival going from strength to strength.”

Women Centre Stage aims to inspire and create mainstage roles for women, re-energising the English theatre repertoire with female-centred and female-driven plays by male and female artists. Recent research shows that just 39% of onstage performers 36% of directors and 28% of writers were female in UK theatre venues between 2012 and 2014* proving the festival is still a vital and practical response by one of the UK’s leading companies in the field.

Women Centre Stage will be taking over every space in Hampstead Theatre on the 20th of November and will feature six programmes throughout the day including leading writers, actors and companies from across the country in curated mixed bills of showcases, scratch and work-in-progress.

Last year’s festival WOMEN CENTRE STAGE: HEROINES included work by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Barney Norris, Rona Munro, Roy Williams, Rachel De-lahay and Charlotte Josephine amongst many others. It also saw partnerships with Bolton Octagon, KALI Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre, GRAEAE and Inspector Sands. This year’s festival will build on 2015’s high-impact, high profile debut with an expanded programme from some of the most exciting emerging and established artists across the UK, all exploring women centre stage.

Long-time collaborator of Sphinx Theatre and acclaimed playwright April de Angelis says “The festival encourages writers to think women into the centre of their stories, to ascribe them agency and to create significant relationships between female characters.”

Founded in 1973 Sphinx Theatre Company has been at the vanguard of promoting, advocating and inspiring women in the arts through productions, conferences and research for over 40 years, led by artistic director Sue Parrish since 1990. Work includes premieres of April de Angelis’ modern classic Playhouse Creatures, Pam Gems’ The Snow Palace & Bryony Lavery’s Goliath, plus the Vamps Vixens and Feminists andGlass Ceiling conferences with the National Theatre, Young Vic, Southbank Centre and West Yorkshire Playhouse.