Thursday, 21 February 2013


Lisa Parry writes:

Last year, when Agent 160 launched, we held panel discussions at each venue discussing women and theatre. At the end of the session in Glasgow, one of the panellists said she hoped we wouldn't continue hosting such talks. She'd been doing them for years. She didn't think they helped. The most important thing, she said, was to get work by women onto the stage.

At the time, I completely agreed. I thought the talks were important as part of the launch but I didn't feel they were a huge part of our work. And I still do agree that getting plays written by women on is more important. But in terms of hosting the talks themselves? I've since changed my mind.

Why the change? A comment from a playwright-friend of mine along the lines of: "That's all very well, but our generation wasn't around for those talks. Maybe we need to have them too." And I think we do. Talking, debate and discussion is never a bad thing. Progress isn't always linear. Sometimes topics need to be revisited and reassessed according to the current climate.

And progress can be made through talking. A few months back, I attended Devoted and Disgruntled at Sherman Cymru in Cardiff. It was refreshing to see thoughts and opinions changing when it became clear that what people thought was happening on the ground, wasn't; that the presumed situation wasn't the actual one; what people thought playwrights wanted wasn't in fact what they did want. So too with the women and theatre debate - some people have said they think the problem isn't in fact with commissioning, but with a failure to deliver final drafts. Others have voiced concern that women directors don't want to work with women writers for fear of being pigeonholed. Debate - talk - opens up detailed arguments that need to be worked through for sustained change. Sometimes sweeping change is needed and welcome. But for real sustained change that will last decades and improve the social lot, the devil is pretty much always in the detail. And the detail tends to come up in extensive conversation.
  • Agent 160 is co-producing the talk Women and the Arts at Theatre503 on Wednesday, February 27.
  • The discussion will take place after that evening's performance of Desolate Heaven and will last about an hour. 
  • Other panellists include Rebecca Atkinson-Lord (co-director of Oval House Theatre), Amber Massie-Blomfield (principal consultant at, Pia Furtado (director), Honour Bayes (freelance theatre journalist).
  • To book, visit or telephone 020 7978 7040.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

February 21st Writers' Night at The Bush: Money the game show

Dear Agent 160 friends, below are some links and pictures for my play Money the game show, on at The Bush till the 9th March.

On the 21st February, so next Thursday, there's going to be a 'writers' night' with the actors Brian Ferguson, Lucy Ellinson and me, chaired by the amazing Selma Dimitrijevic, dramaturg at The Bush. We're going to talk about dramatising contemporary political issues and events. I might talk a bit about writing non-gendered roles as a feminist strategy, as the end of Money is scripted for the 'Loser' and 'Winner' rather than the female and male characters 'Queenie' and 'Casino'. I'll definitely be mentioning Agent 160. I think we'll also be talking about the role of actors/performers in the process of directing your own work. If any of that sounds of interest it would be great to see you there. Clare x

MONEY the game show - praise from the press:
''This playful, thoughtful and riotously entertaining piece is right on the money', 
The Guardian.
'Engagingly explores the build-up to, and the aftermath of, the 2008 financial catastrophe',
Financial Times
''Hilarious and tragic...the writing glitters',
The Scotsman.
'Think Deal or No Deal but 100 times more entertaining', A Younger Theatre
MONEY the game show, by Clare Duffy, is into its 3rd week at the Bush and delighting critics and audiences alike, who have been getting stuck into gambling with the £10,000 loot on our stage.
Due to demand, the show is extending until 9 March - giving you even more chances to catch it - but book quick as performances are filling up.