Cast announced for new Gillian Greer play about consent

A new play about consent and class, Meat by Irish playwright Gillian Greer, is to premiere at London’s Theatre503.

MEAT Theatre 503 Gillian Greer

Set in Dublin, Gillian Greer's Meat explores how a former couple navigate their differing memories of their shared past, testing their own biases, perspectives and beliefs about how sex and power can operate in the modern world.

Running from 19 February to 14 March, it stars India Mullen, Sean Fox and Elinor Lawless. It is being produced by female-led theatre company 45North which is gaining a reputation for work placing marginalised and female-focused narratives in the spotlight.

The all-female creative team includes director Lucy Jane Atkinson, creative producer Emily Carewe, designer Rachel Stone, lighting designer Zia Bergin-Holly, sound designer Annie May Fletcher and stage manager Bryony Byrne.

The play was a finalist for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award in 2018. Greer, who is literary manager at London’s Soho Theatre, is a playwright and dramaturg from Dublin who has seen her work performed at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Traverse in Edinburgh and London fringe venues including Theatre503. Her debut play Petals was nominated for the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2015 and was adapted for radio.

Talking about Meat, she said: “I wrote this play because I wanted to talk about consent with an empathy, complexity and nuance that I have not seen elsewhere. The play will also explore how other issues such as class and race intersect with how rape culture operates.

“Navigating sexuality and consent in the modern world is fraught, but navigating it in a post-Catholic, post-economic crash, newly socially liberated Ireland is explosive. I hope that the play will invigorate its audience and provoke them to have challenging, sincere and difficult conversations about their own perceptions and attitudes towards consent. Most importantly, I want it to be a human story, underwritten with love, care and humanity.”

Meat will partner Solace Women’s aid to run consent workshops, extending the educational nature of the play beyond the stage to help those who may have been affected by a similar narrative and to continue to foster understanding of consent across all situations.

With the play focusing on a sensitive and potentially triggering topic, the creative team will be working closely with an intimacy director to ensure that – at a time where the theatre and wider entertainment industry itself is facing up to sexual harassment and assault – the actors feel comfortable in rehearsals. It also aimed at making sure their on-stage body language and movements are appropriate and as true to life as possible.


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