Starting Out at Rep

Five female playwrights tackle the world of work for young women.

Theatre group Women & Theatre, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, have announced the world premiere of Starting Out, a brand new piece that examines the disturbing, funny and humane stories of women beginning their working lives in a world of zero hours contracts, a gender pay gap, lone working, glass ceilings, internships and mass youth unemployment.

Starting Out is made up of five pieces created by five of the UK’s most exciting and imaginative play writers – Janice Connolly, Charlene James, Lorna Laidlaw, Manjeet Mann and Susie Sillett.

Janice Connolly, Artistic Director of Women & Theatre said: “The financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting cuts and austerity measures changed the employment landscape. We were particularly interested in the legacy for young women beginning their working lives in 2016.”

The playwrights have captured what is happening in the UK today by talking to dozens of young women about getting on the career ladder. Starting Out aims to provoke debate, challenge pre-conceptions of the millennial generation and in fact ask whether much has changed for the young working woman in the 21st Century?

Award winning writer Charlene James, whose critically acclaimed play about FGM, Cuttin’ It was recently on at The REP, takes on issues around exploitative apprenticeships; Susie Sillett captures the social conscience of the millennial generation and their desire to make a positive difference in the world; Lorna Laidlaw uses the familiarity of a TV set to examine the financial and personal costs for young women trying to establish careers; Manjeet Mann’s piece tackles mental health issues; and Janice Connolly, has produced a contemporary fairytale in response to many young women that feel let down by the system .

Starting Out is directed by Caroline Wilkes and will premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, from 12th–15th October, 8pm daily with 2.30pm Saturday matinee. The 8pm performance on 15th October is a signed performance.

The show is recommended for ages 14+ and tickets are available from £10 from The Birmingham Rep box office either 0121 236 4455 or online